The nation will seek to maintain strong industrial growth momentum in 2018 by making a fresh push to marshal the country’s high-end manufacturing power, according to the country’s top industrial development regulator.
The promise came after China’s industrial output rose by 6.6 percent in 2017, marking a notable growth.
Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said on Jan 30 that “China will set up a raft of national innovation demonstration zones and ratchet up resources to promote the integration of manufacturing and new technologies in 2018.”
According to Miao, high-tech sectors will play a bigger role in driving the country’s economy. In 2017, China produced more than 120,000 industrial robots, a surge of 68 percent year-on-year. When it comes to new energy vehicles, China led the world, producing 794,000 of them last year, up by 51 percent.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology predicted in late December that the country’s industrial output is likely to grow by around 6 percent this year.
The goal to move up the industrial value chain is gaining substantial steam across the country, with a total of 97 intelligent manufacturing pilot projects already announced in October. Companies such as Beiqi Foton Motor Co and Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co are active participants of such initiatives.
Wang Peng, deputy director of the China Center for Information Industry Development, said intensified efforts to cut overcapacity will add more impetus to the industrial economy and improve economic quality.
In 2017, China achieved its goal of reducing steel capacity by more than 50 million metric tons. It also cut overproduction in other industries, such as cement.
Earlier this month, experts who advise the central government on industrial restructuring plans updated the national Made in China 2025 strategy road map, by placing more emphasis on new technologies such as artificial intelligence. The move is in line with a three-year plan unveiled by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to boost the application of AI in sectors such as automobiles, robots and healthcare, among others.
Yu Chengdong, CEO of consumer business group at Chinese tech heavyweight Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, said the company will step up its exploration of AI-enabled services and products to empower consumers.