The rapid growth of tech sectors, including cloud computing and big data, has helped drive up power consumption in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the first quarter of 2020.
The State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. said it sold over 31 billion kWh electricity during the January-March period, an annual increase of more than 10 percent.
The services sector made the largest contribution to the growth in power consumption, with the number soaring 41.3 percent year on year to 9.38 billion kWh, it said.
Tech firms in the fields like big data and cloud computing saw power consumption increase by 2.06 billion kWh, driving up the growth of the region's total power consumption by 7.3 percentage points.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has hit many traditional businesses in China but created business opportunities for sectors such as cloud computing and big data with many people across the country switching to play, study and work online.
Over recent years, Xinjiang has been speeding up the development of new-generation information technology in a bid to power its economy with strategic emerging sectors.
Due to the epidemic, its secondary sector saw power consumption fall 4.5 percent year on year to 18 billion kWh in the first three months, according to the local power grid.
To help enterprises resume production, the local grid cut electricity prices, helping local companies save more than 100 million yuan (around 14.1 million U.S. dollars) in operational costs in the past quarter.