China has announced that it has been granted a $15.2 billion loan to help it complete the country’s massive internet infrastructure.
This is the first such loan for the country, and China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has said that it hopes the loan will be repaid within four years.
The loan, which was given to China Construction Bank in March this year, comes after a long process of negotiation and will enable the country to modernise its existing internet infrastructure and to expand the network to other regions.
According to China’s State Administration of Industry and Information Technology, the loan was “an important first step in the construction of China’s internet infrastructure”.
“The government of China will continue to build a strong, reliable, and well-connected internet infrastructure to meet the needs of the country and its citizens, while ensuring the country can meet its economic and social needs, and will further invest in the internet infrastructure in order to support the development of the nation’s economic growth,” said a statement by the State Administration.
“China’s internet-related infrastructure is among the world’s most important.
In the coming years, we will continue working towards building a world-class internet infrastructure, one that will help strengthen the country.”
The announcement of the loan comes on the heels of the recent announcement of a $9.7 billion loan from the China Development Bank, and it comes after the country announced that the internet will be rolled out to the provinces of Hebei and Xinjiang in 2021.
China has been in the process of upgrading its internet infrastructure since the 1980s, and this was a crucial part of its attempt to catch up with the United States in internet technology.
In January this year China began construction on a new network of fibre optic cables which will be used to connect all the nation over the coming decades.