China's "new infrastructure" is not a new concept

As China prepares to accelerate public investment to revive the economy after the shutdown caused by the new crown epidemic, new infrastructure construction, or "new infrastructure", has become a buzzword for investment agencies to sell investment concepts.

The Chinese government says it can take this opportunity to promote the technology-driven economic structure upgrade and increase industry productivity and innovation capabilities. The new infrastructure covers a range of industries, from 5G and artificial intelligence to data centers and electric vehicle charging stations. This idea has certain value: Compared with building more roads and bridges on China's already quite complete infrastructure, these new areas seem to provide a better return on investment.

Indeed, this year China may increase spending on infrastructure construction; some time ago, due to government efforts to curb debt inflation, infrastructure spending has weakened. Local governments have issued more than RMB 1 trillion (US $ 141 billion) of “special bonds” this year, most of which may be dedicated to infrastructure spending.