China's to Boost Internet Infrastructure
A file photograph of people using computers at an internet cafe in Hefei, Anhui province, ChinaReuters

China will spend more than $182bn (£117bn, €163bn) to boost internet speeds by end-2017, a top government body has said.

The government will invest more than CN¥430bn ($69.3bn) this year on network construction, according to the State Council, with at least another CN¥700bn spent over the following two years.

The aim is to expedite the development of fibre optic broadband and high speed 4G mobile networks, the governing body said on its website.

On 19 May, China unveiled a vision for the next stage of its economic ascent, moving from low-tech manufacturing to advanced industry in areas such as space, e-commerce, renewable energy and bioengineering by 2025.

Last week, China's three state-owned wireless carriers -- China Mobile, China Unicom (Hong Kong) and China Telecom Corp -- said they will cut mobile data prices and boost data speeds this year, potentially triggering a mass migration of customers to more lucrative 4G contracts.

Earlier in the year, Premier Li Keqiang said his regime will back e-commerce development and guide international expansion by Chinese internet firms.

Li, addressing the opening of China's rubber-stamp parliamentary meeting in Beijing, in March, outlined China's "Internet Plus" strategy, which includes promoting cloud computing, online banking, mobile internet, along with logistics to aid e-commerce expansion.

He also stressed the need for more state investment in the internet sector.

China ranked 82nd in the world for average internet connection speed, slower than Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, according to cloud computing services provider Akamai's State of the Internet report for the fourth quarter of 2014.