Forget web3 first, let's talk about digital high-speed rail
In November 2022, Hangzhou, Yunqi Conference. Jiang Guofei was pacing in the center of the stage, speaking Mandarin with a Jiangsu and Zhejiang accent. As the president of Ant Group's digital technology business group, he has been the "architect" of technology business development in the past five years, and has built a highly influential software and hardware technology matrix.
This time, for the first time, he will announce the panoramic thinking of this plate to the public—— What exactly is Ant's technology business going to do, and where is it heading? Jiang Guofei's answer is, "build a digital high-speed rail". Using the title of Jiang Guofei's speech to say exactly, what Ant Digital is doing is "focusing on breakthroughs in core technologies, helping to build industrial collaborative digital networks, and promoting distributed business prosperity."
This sentence can also be understood in reverse: business in the physical world is naturally distributed, and the future of deep digital technology is also distributed, so the efficiency and collaboration problems behind distribution ultimately need to be solved by core technologies.
As we all know, in the naturally "distributed" industrial physics world, our "best practice" for efficiency issues is actually high-speed rail. The latter uses huge "bandwidth" and extremely high "speed" to connect large-scale urban nodes into one economic area, thereby releasing the efficiency of different urban agglomerations. Because of the high-speed rail, so cooperation; because of cooperation, so efficiency.
In Jiang Guofei's view, facilities similar to "high-speed rail" are also needed in the digital world to allow data to flow efficiently and safely. Under such a mechanism construction, the huge numbers that have been accumulated in various links for a long time can only flow into a digital torrent, which will generate new value in each link of the data and bring unprecedented opportunities.
Ant's mission is to build this "digital high-speed rail". Collaboration is the destiny of digitalization How many steps will it take for the birth of "high-speed rail"? Perhaps the hardware construction of rails and carriages is the first step, and the improvement of software such as the operation and maintenance system is the second step.
But many people ignore step 0, "The City Happens". It is precisely because of the stock industries and populations that are rapidly accumulating that there is a demand for further mobility. We can even say that the existence of a city must have its way of external communication. Even if there is no high-speed rail, there will be horse teams to open the way - just like the current status of many industrial data exchanges.
Correspondingly, in the digital world, the so-called "city occurrence" is actually the rapid digitization of industrial clusters. Jiang Guofei called "industrial digitization" the "biggest deterministic opportunity" at present. Whether it is at the policy level, corporate decision makers, external observers, or providers of digital solutions like Ant, all see that digital brings great efficiency innovation. At the national level, data itself has become the fifth largest factor of production after land, labor, capital, and technology.