OPINIONS Time to speed up digitalization process

OPINIONS

Time to speed up digitalization process

China Daily

08:18, July 03, 2020

A visitor takes photos at the China International Digital Economy Expo (CIDEE) in Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei province, Oct 11, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

A recent top-level meeting on deepening reform stressed on China advancing the integrated development of new-generation information technology and manufacturing, and accelerating the development of industrial internet and the fundamental transformation of the mode of manufacturing to promote the sector's digitalized, network-oriented and intelligent development.

The world is entering an intelligent digitalized age in which new-generation information and communications technologies represented by 5G, big data and artificial intelligence have provided new impetus for global development.

Industrial internet is central to the fourth industrial revolution while integrated and innovative development of 5G and industrial internet will promote the transformation of manufacturing toward digitalized, network-oriented and intelligent application of information technology.

Being the world's largest manufacturer, China's manufacturing enjoys efficiency, quality and cost advantages. However, as land and labor costs continue to rise, some labor-intensive low-end manufacturing enterprises have moved out of China.

In order to get rid of labor constraints, enhance manufacturing competitiveness and consolidate its advantages, China should raise the level of the sector's digitalized, network-oriented and development as part of its supply-side structural reform.

China is accelerating the pace of "new infrastructure" construction for digitalized transformation. By the end of 2020, all of the country's prefecture-level cities are expected to be covered by the 5G network, providing a basis for promoting integrated development of "5G plus" vertical industries. Once that happens, it is necessary for China to vigorously promote the development of industrial internet and accelerate integrated application of vertical industries to give full play to their value.

According to the fourth national economic census released in 2019, only 45.1 percent of industrial enterprises in China use the internet or internal networks in their production, which means that more than half of industrial enterprises are still in the primary stage of informatization and yet to realize digitalized and network-oriented development.

Intelligent development is becoming popular in highly competitive fields such as electronics and other manufacturing industries. The popularization of informatization is crucial for promoting the integrated development of 5G and manufacturing, but it still remains a long and arduous task.

Experimental application shows that enterprises are satisfied with reduced costs and increased efficiency brought by industrial internet under global economic downward pressures. There may be input costs in the short term, but it will sharpen their international competitiveness in the long run. As a country with manufacturing advantages, China should speed up the sector's digitalized, network-oriented and intelligent transformation to consolidate and raise its competitiveness.

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