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Computerworld – China is building a city-sized cloud computing and office complex that will include a mega data center, one of the projects fueling that country’s double-digit growth in IT spending.

The entire complex will cover some 6.2 million square feet, with the initial data center space accounting for approximately 646,000 square feet, according to IBM, which is collaborating with a Chinese company to build it.

Hebei data center

This rendering shows the planned city-sized cloud computing and office complex being built in China. (Image: IBM)

In sheer scale, this project, first announced late last month, is nearly the size of the Pentagon, although in China’s case it is spread over multiple buildings similar to an office park and — from the rendering — may include some residential areas. But it may be a uniquely Chinese approach that brings data centers and developers together.

These big projects, whether supercomputers or sprawling software development office parks, can garner a lot of attention. But China’s overall level of IT spending, while growing rapidly, is only one-fifth that of the U.S.

According to market research firm IDC, China’s IT spending, which includes hardware, packaged software and services, is forecast to total about $112 billion this year, up 15.6% from $97 billion in 2010. By comparison, U.S. IT spending is expected to reach $564 billion this year, a 5.9% increase from 2010.