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Chinese province: No more energy-sucking data centers

Chinese province: No more energy-sucking data centers

ANSHUN, CHINA - JANUARY 28: Aerial view of a Huawei data center after a snowfall at Gui'an New Area on January 28, 2020 in Anshun, Guizhou Province of China.

Wu Dongjun/VCG via Getty Images

The Chinese region of Inner Mongolia plans to control the growth of data centers to reduce energy consumption, the provincial government said in a proposed five-year plan released last week.

Since 2015, provincial governments in underdeveloped regions have lured tech companies to build data centers via subsidized electricity prices and other incentives. But their high energy consumption has concerned officials. Beijing, Shanghai as well as Guizhou — the province that's pioneered building data centers to help alleviate poverty — have banned construction of new data centers that offer low energy efficiency.

Earlier this month, Beijing reprimanded Inner Mongolia, a region rich with fossil fuel resources, for being the only province that didn't meet its 2019 energy consumption control goals, Chinese media outlet The Paper reports. Inner Mongolia is classified as an autonomous region, but its government ranks at the level of a province.

Inner Mongolia's five-year plan also pledges to ban new crypto mining farms, a declaration that has received widespread media attention.

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