More efforts in industrial internet to bolster growth

An employee works at a fully-automated PV panel production facility in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, in March. ZHU HAIPENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

MIIT to facilitate 5G use, IPOs for players in the manufacturing automation sector

China’s intensified efforts to boost the development of the industrial internet will inject new vitality into the industrial economy, enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing on the global stage and empower high-quality development, industry experts said.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country’s top industry regulator, said in a work plan on Wednesday that it will promote the application of superfast 5G wireless technology in the industrial internet and support initial public offerings of eligible industrial internet companies.

The industrial internet, a new type of manufacturing automation that combines advanced machines, internet-connected sensors and big data analysis, will boost productivity and reduce costs in industrial production.

More efforts should be made to build 10 factories that are fully covered by 5G, cultivate about 10 industrial internet public service platforms in specific regions, and accomplish the construction of regional sub-centers of national industrial internet big data centers in Chongqing, and Shandong, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces, according to the plan.

The country will further propel the application of 5G plus industrial internet in the consumption sector, as well as accelerate innovation of key technologies to advance enterprises’ digital transformation, the plan said.

Data from the MIIT showed that the country has nurtured over 100 industrial internet platforms that have strong regional and industry influence, with 76 million units of industrial equipment connected to the platforms, which have served 1.6 million industrial enterprises covering over 40 key industries.

“The application of digital technologies has been expanded from the consumption to the production field. In particular, new industrial forms such as the industrial internet are taking shape, which has become a new engine driving the growth of the digital economy and has showcased remarkable development potential,” said Liu Xiangdong, a researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Liu said the booming industrial internet will see surging demand for accuracy in data acquisition, transmission speed, storage space, computing capacities and intelligent application, thus driving development of big data and cloud computing infrastructure and fostering a batch of industrial internet companies with global competitiveness.

The measures such as supporting the listing of eligible industrial internet enterprises will help expand the financing channels for these enterprises and expedite development of the industrial internet, Liu said.

Zhou Yunjie, chairman and CEO of home appliance giant Haier Group, said the industrial internet will play a bigger role in bolstering high-quality development of the digital economy in cities and deepening digital transformation in manufacturing, operational management and marketing services.

The company has invested heavily in the industrial internet sector and developed COSMOPlat, its industrial internet platform, which is designed to allow companies to customize products quickly and at scale by collecting and analyzing data from consumers, suppliers and factories, while boosting productivity and cutting costs.

The revenue of China’s industrial internet market is projected to reach 914.7 billion yuan ($143.6 billion) in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent in the next three years, according to a research report released by market research firm CCID Consulting.

Noting the industrial internet is established based on traditional industries and information and communication technology, Ni Guangnan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said more efforts should be made to promote the integration of technological innovation and industrial applications.

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