China is stepping up efforts to develop the industrial internet, with the recent approval of two important action plans for the industrial internet, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on May 27.
The three-year development plan and the work plan for the leading working group on the industrial internet were recently approved to guide and accelerate the development and application of advanced manufacturing, said Liu Jie, deputy head of the telecommunication management department of the MIIT.
The move is part of the nation’s broader effort to advance the Made in China 2025 plan to bolster competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. To be specific, China is expected to lead the world in key sectors of the industrial internet by 2035.
The industrial internet refers to a network of combined, advanced machines with internet-connected sensors and big-data analytics, which is of great significance to boosting the productivity, efficiency and reliability of industrial production.
“China has accumulated more than 30 industrial internet platforms with a certain size and commercial capacity. Moreover, more than 630 companies and institutes in fields including manufacturing, automation and the internet have joined the industrial internet alliance,” he said.
Liu made the remarks at the 2018 China international big data industry expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, which aims to enhance international exchange and cooperation in the development of the big data industry.
“As a power in both manufacturing and the internet, we are expected to ramp up efforts in cooperation between the internet and manufacturing companies, and will accelerate the research and development of core technologies,” he added.
Though the sector is still in its infancy, a group of Chinese companies, including China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) and Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd, have beefed up their presence in the industrial internet segment in the past few years.
CASIC, one of the nation’s major space contractors, for example, has so far attracted 1.65 million registered users with the total transaction amount exceeding 400 billion yuan ($62.6 billion). More than 13,000 overseas companies have also registered its platform.
“China has taken the ‘last train’ of the industrial revolution, the ‘fast train’ of the internet revolution, and finally made its way into the ‘first-class cabin’ of the mobile internet. But we should notice that there is lack of key products and technologies in an array of irreplaceable areas,” said Gao Hongwei, chairman of CASIC.
Faced with such challenges, Gao said that the company is seeking to help Chinese companies to gradually transform so that the country’s industrial sector can move from cloud manufacturing to collaborative manufacturing, and finally into smart manufacturing.
“We have also served a large number of small and micro companies by helping them embrace cloud computing, big data and other cutting-edge technologies, as small and micro companies account for 85 percent of the total industrial registered platform users,” he added.