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China to Hold Expo of Digital Info for Public Service

Xinhua, 10 May 2002

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- China will hold its first exhibition of digital info-service for the public and related technology in Beijing from July 8 to 11, the Ministry of Culture announced today.

The International Exhibition of Digital Info-Service for the Public and Related Technology to be held in Beijing will be divided into five parts: digital content provider and service; digital application platform; digital infomation storage and transmission; digital equipment and technology; and digital libraries, archives and museums.

Deputy Minister of Culture Zhou Heping said, The aim of the exhibition is to upgrade cooperation and exchanges in the field and serve as a market survey for future bids for the construction of the China Digital Library.

The Government has granted a total investment of 1.142 billion yuan (138 million U.S.dollars) for the library.

It is estimated that after completion in five years the China Digital Library will have a volume of 20TB, permitting 10 million users to visit it daily.

The library will also digitalize and integrate 7.09 million Chinese books as well as audio-visual publications.

Sun Peng, deputy general manager of the Beijing International Exhibition Center, said the exhibition had attracted an estimated 200 domestic and foreign companies specializing in the field of information processing and service.

Sun said besides seminars for professionals, the exhibition would provide devices for ordinary people to experience the future for a digitalized family.

Sun said a number of famous enterprises such as IBM and Legend had expressed great interest in the exhibition.

Liu Baosheng, deputy president of the Peking University Founder R&D Center, said, Info-service should not be limited to the digital library only—it is more diverse. For instance, the information can be about real estate and government administration. Liu said the exhibition would help to enhance public awareness of digitalization though it would take a long time to change old ways of thinking.