5G+ Smart Factories In Hangzhou City
MERICS China Industries
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MIIT accelerates Industrial Internet applications and standard setting in traditional manufacturing

At a glance: The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has published a detailed explanation of a three-year Industrial Internet action plan it issued in January. The plan aims to fast track the application of information technology in traditional manufacturing sectors such as automotive, machinery, and consumer goods. It outlines several goals for 2023, including:

  • Advance the application of 5G-connected factories in manufacturing
  • Create a standard system for the Industrial Internet
  • Increase the productivity of key enterprises (as identified by provincial authorities) by at least 20 percent
  • Establish an Industrial Internet exchange and cooperation mechanism with the EU and countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative

MERICS comment: The action plan is part of Beijing’s push to utilize technology and new infrastructure as drivers of growth. The plan’s predecessor (covering 2018-2020) led to Industrial Internet pilots and CNY 70 billion in investments in digital infrastructure. The plan is also part of the government’s agenda to use foreign companies as levers to advance China’s position as a manufacturing superpower and set Chinese standards internationally.

The MIIT encourages Chinese companies to cooperate with foreign enterprises in standard setting, exploring new business models and allocating resources. This ties in with other efforts by the Chinese government to standardize industrial production: In January, the MIIT circulated a draft that calls for the creation of more than 30 “Internet of Things”-standards by 2025. Companies may also receive local government support for implementing the plan, as has previously happened in Guangdong, for instance.

Policy name: Interpretation of the “Industrial Internet Innovation Development Action Plan (2021-2023)” (《工业互联网创新发展行动计划(2021-2023年)》解读) (Link)
Issuing body: MIIT
Date: February 18, 2021


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  3. Beijing’s “Two Zones” construction plan seeks to attract foreign investors
  4. Chinese tech giants invest in home-made semiconductors as the industry continues to suffer from US sanctions