Economic review

Net gains for new manufacturing

2017-12-07 10:23:00 (Beijing Time)         China Daily

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Internet integration will give production a modern boost

China is enhancing its efforts to integrate industry and the internet by issuing a three-step timetable to accelerate the development of the internet working in conjunction with advanced manufacturing to boost innovation and entrepreneurship and upgrade the economy.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, unveiled a guideline on Nov. 27 for developing the "industrial internet", the integration of industry and the internet.

The guideline is the latest move to encourage industrial internet development since the State Council's executive meeting on Oct. 30 chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The guideline has set the goal that by 2025, an industrial internet infrastructure covering all regions and sectors will be basically accomplished, and by 2035, China is expected to lead the world in key sectors of the industrial internet. By the middle of the century, China should be among the top countries in terms of the overall strength of its industrial internet.

"We should create a vibrant and enabling environment for the internet, working with advanced manufacturing by further streamlining administration, enhancing compliance oversight and improving government services. This will enable the industrial internet to develop in a more open and integrated manner and put China at the forefront of the new round of the industrial revolution," Li said at the meeting.

Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said at a news conference in November that the development of the industrial internet is a must for the manufacturing sector amid international competition.

The national guideline has set the direction for industrial internet growth for a certain period of time, and related policy incentives are expected to come out in the future, said Wang Jun, professor at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

The industrial internet refers to computerized interconnection of machinery, big data and the internet of things that analyzes data from machinery and adjusts its operation.

"China has seen robust development since its reform and opening up, but the country's manufacturing industry lags far behind many developed countries, particularly with its limited integration of industry and information technology," Wang said. "This has severely restricted China's manufacturing competence as well as its international competence in this regard."

He said at present, China has an opportunity to catch up.

"A deep integration of industrialization and information technology will be a key feature for China's economic development in the near future, as domestic demand for industrial upgrading is huge and the industrial structure worldwide is also in the process of restructuring," he explained.

"With accelerated development of the industrial internet, this will also provide a good opportunity to upgrade our manufacturing industry."

He pointed out that currently, China lags behind major countries in terms of the industrial internet in three aspects.

"First, many companies are not fully aware of the importance of developing the industrial internet. Second, there is still a lack of platforms, such as technology parks and innovation incubators, to boost industrial internet development," he said. "Third, there is still a lack of talent in the area of the industrial internet, and the country needs to enhance efforts in training such personnel."

He called for further efforts in combining research and application, while efforts in training technical workers working on the frontline must be strengthened.

"Currently, technical workers working in the frontline still have comparatively low incomes and limited choices of development of their career path," Wang said. "It is important for the government to come out with more policy incentives and to build a population of technical professionals that can meet the demand for China's industrial internet development."

It was made clear in the guideline that to achieve the targets, the country will further upgrade its network, increase internet speed while reducing fees, expand internet coverage and develop the IPv6-based internet.

It also said that China will accelerate the construction of an industrial internet platform, build a standard system for it, and apply the platform into full use. A data protection system will be set up to guarantee internet security, and related technology will be enhanced.

To ensure the implementation of the measures, the State Council has also urged related departments to improve related laws and regulations, create a healthy market environment by simplifying administration and power delegation, increase financial support and cultivate more talent in this field.