According to some academics, companies in traditional sectors should take the lead in going digital in the next decade under Beijing’s newly announced “Digital China” plan.
“Digitalization is now a global trend,” Zhang Jun, dean of economics at Fudan University, said in an interview with guancha.cn. “Without it, China’s service and manufacturing industries will fall behind.”
China has pushed digitization in many areas over the past two decades, but most of the effort has gone into the “consumer internet” rather than the “industrial internet,” Zhang said.
Consumer Internet applications include online shopping, food delivery, and ride-hailing, while industrial Internet applications are used in smart factories, warehouses, and ports.
“China is good at consumer internet because it has a huge consumer market,” said Zhang. “But replicating this success with the Industrial Internet will not be easy and will require a complete change in production flows and operating models.”
U.S. retail networks and credit card payment systems are well developed, he said, so U.S. technology companies are choosing to venture into the industrial Internet rather than focusing too much on the consumer Internet. . He worried that the focus on consumer internet could slow China’s industrial upgrades.
Global competition and US regulation
Since Boston-based General Electric gave its business a new name in 2012, the “Industrial Internet,” many developed nations have launched industrial upgrades aimed at boosting productivity with new technologies. I launched a blueprint.
Following Germany’s ‘Industry 4.0’ plan launched in 2013, Beijing unveiled a strategic plan in 2015 called ‘Made in China 2025’.
According to the plan, by 2025, China will have world-class competitiveness and host a group of multinationals and industrial clusters that can attain higher positions in global supply chains.If all goes according to plan, by 2035 the world will
In 2018, Beijing launched another strategy called “China Standard 2035”, which aims to set global standards for 5G, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies by 2035.
In recent years, Washington has tried to stifle the “Made in China 2025” plan by imposing sanctions on Chinese tech companies and banning the export of high-end chips to China.
According to the China Industrial Internet Academy (CAII), the value added of China’s industrial Internet industry increased by 8.7% from 2021 to 4.45 trillion yuan (US$640 billion) last year. Growth was lower than the 16.1% increase in 2021 due to the virus outbreak in China last year.
According to CAII, China has already built over 100 industrial Internet platforms, connecting them to 76 million machines. China currently leads the world with more than 1,500 “5G + Industrial Internet” projects, CAII claims.
Some 10,000 Chinese companies, including 6,000 factories, have already installed dedicated 5G networks to support AI applications and boost productivity, according to industry sources involved in the deployment. Asia Times was unable to independently verify this claim.
new digitalization plan
While Western and Chinese media have differing views on whether China will achieve its goals, the Chinese government announced on Feb. announced the overall layout plan.
On March 7, he proposed establishing a new agency called the National Data Agency to implement the plan.
The plan says China will upgrade its industries with 5G, Internet of Things, supercomputing and satellite technology, and become one of the world’s top countries in terms of digitalization level by 2035.
“The slowdown in foreign investment in China’s internet sector and rising isolationism and protectionism in the world will force China to rely more on domestic funding this year to push for digitalization,” Zhejiang University research The Center wrote in a recent article.
He said that under the “Digital China” plan, China’s Internet companies will need to shift their focus from business-to-consumer (B2C) applications to business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) applications. I’m here.
He said the digitization of government services will stimulate demand for cloud and big data services, as well as local high-end chips. He also said AI and virtual reality technology will help Chinese manufacturers respond more quickly to market demands.
From crackdown to promotion
Beijing has tightened rules on Chinese internet giants from late 2020 to mid-2022, criticizing many of them for not doing enough to upgrade China’s industries.
Last year, many Chinese tech companies scrapped plans to list in the US after being required by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to meet US accounting standards.
Some commentators said that China’s industrial Internet development is still in the exploratory stage for the past five years and will continue to face challenges in the future.
CAII director Lu Chuncong said it will not be easy for manufacturers to go digital if their machines do not provide and share digital data. He also said tech companies should create more tailor-made applications for different industries.
Chen Zhilie, founder of Evoc Intelligent Technology Co Ltd, said in an interview last year that China’s major industrial Internet platforms mainly use foreign systems and do not own many core technologies. said. Mr Cheng said the country’s development in the region has so far remained at an early stage due to the lack of ecosystems.
A Chinese columnist wrote in an article last December that the Industrial Internet ecosystem will only form when all parties in the supply chain can agree on a profitable and sustainable commercial model.
He said that once we see success stories again, more Chinese companies in traditional sectors will recognize the value and take the lead in going digital.
There are successful examples. In October 2021, Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies and Tianjin Port Group jointly dubbed the Section C terminal in the Beijiang Port area of Tianjin Port the world’s first “zero carbon port terminal.” changed to
The port guides robots with China’s Beidou navigation system to unlock containers, and remotely-operated quayside cranes lift containers loaded from cargo ships. Swedish-Swiss robotics company ABB Ltd provided the main remote control system.
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