Recent success of deep neural networks (DNNs) hinges on the availability of large-scale dataset; however, training on such dataset often poses privacy risks for sensitive training information. In this paper, we aim to explore the power of generative models and gradient sparsity, and propose a scalable privacy-preserving generative model DATALENS. Comparing with the standard PATE privacy-preserving framework which allows teachers to vote on one-dimensional predictions, voting on the high dimensional gradient vectors is challenging in terms of privacy preservation. As dimension reduction techniques are required, we need to navigate a delicate tradeoff space between (1) the improvement of privacy preservation and (2) the slowdown of SGD convergence. To tackle this, we take advantage of communication efficient learning and propose a novel noise compression and aggregation approach TOPAGG by combining top-k compression for dimension reduction with a corresponding noise injection mechanism. We theoretically prove that the DATALENS framework guarantees differential privacy for its generated data, and provide analysis on its convergence. To demonstrate the practical usage of DATALENS, we conduct extensive experiments on diverse datasets including MNIST, Fashion-MNIST, and high dimensional CelebA, and we show that, DATALENS significantly outperforms other baseline DP generative models. In addition, we adapt the proposed TOPAGG approach, which is one of the key building blocks in DATALENS, to DP SGD training, and show that it is able to achieve higher utility than the state-of-the-art DP SGD approach in most cases.