The Internet Plus strategy initiated by the central government has helped promote the integration of innovation achievements with economic and social sectors, advanced technological progress, and formed new development engines for economic growth.
After the release of the action plan in 2015, governments at all levels and industry circles have introduced many support policies and implementation plans.
The plans cover all key areas with specific targets and measures. Plans for traditional industries are aimed at promoting digitalization, those for new emerging industries focus on lowering costs and improving efficiency, while plans for basic support fields emphasize building technological innovation platforms.
To support the development of Internet Plus, China has made many efforts to improve its broadband infrastructure, and facilitate faster internet connections while lowering costs. A negative list for the internet market entry was also published to allow various players to enter the internet market.
The Internet Plus initiative has made positive achievements in promoting transformation and upgrading in manufacturing, agriculture, energy and other sectors. For instance, it has enabled a large machine factory to connect every machine tool to the internet to conduct real-time monitoring and improve efficiency, and a small agricultural machinery enterprise to increase sales by expanding online selling channels.
The Internet Plus strategy has brought many new clients, demands, services and business models, usually cultivated by small and medium enterprises.
In addition to macro benefits, it has also made lives easier. There are nearly 1.1 billion mobile users in China, and they can use their cell phones to do nearly everything, from seeking medical services to ordering food online.
Although Internet Plus is changing the ways of economic operation and people’s lives, many preparation work projects have not been ready for the revolution. New challenges in information infrastructure, key technologies, protection of personal information, standards for smart manufacturing and building a social credit system need to be addressed in practice.
Supervision and reform also need to be further improved to release the potential of the new development engines, as changes brought by the internet on traditional industries, service models and industry organizations all need new supervision and management methods.
The government should adjust the supervision models accordingly, allocate social resources and integrate scattered resources to create a fair and favorable market environment.