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A New Blueprint for Digital China: How Technology has Influenced China’s Digital Growth


The rapid advancements in technology have enabled remarkable leaps in the digitization realm, allowing the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into business to drastically revolutionize the business landscape. This transformation has introduced to what is now recognized as the digital economy— a global network of economic activities driven by digital technologies. Aside from that, AI has had major impact on the way entire industries and sectors undertake their operations. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the digital economy already accounts for roughly 40% of China’s GDP. In order to efficiently maximize the potential of its digital economy, China plans on creating an all-inclusive infrastructure tailored to digitization and business.


THE SHIFT IN MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE

This groundbreaking technology posesses the capability of predictive analysis through fed data, which can potentially determine consumer desires and preferences. With the integration of this transformative technology, manufacturers become ones who experience a profound impact on their operations. The utilization of other developed software and technological applications can also generate GREATer growth in China’s digital economy. Moreover, organizations are gradually embracing new strategies, derived from these innovations to diversify their operations. One such instance is Honeywell China Co. Ltd., a versatile technology manufacturing business that provides a variety of products associated with a range of aviation, automated control system, automotive, turbochargers, and other specialty materials. Despite residing in a highly competitive market with a similar number of factories and employees, Honeywell has achieved double-digit profitability. The consistent success of Honeywell is attributed to its extensive digitization, using technology as a tool for increased efficiency. Employing a total workforce of 100,000, including around 10,000 software engineers, Honeywell ensures that its products, services, and system solutions are closely linked to digitalization. According to the Global Times, China aims to have full digitization of its manufacturing enterprises by 2035. So far, breakthroughs have already been observed in various equipment, such as key parts and software devices. Recently, a draft action plan was released with an affirmation of China’s goals, including the domestic supply for 70% of intelligent manufacturing equipment and 50% of industrial software. Further objectives encompass revising industry standards for intelligent manufacturing, as well as establishing over 120 industry internet platforms. To accomplish these ambitions, China is constantly researching and developing more than 1,000 kinds of advanced intelligent manufacturing devices and products.


CHINA’S STEP TOWARD THE FUTURE OF DIGITIZATION

Several Chinese companies have begun experimenting with digitization by setting short-term goals. However, the future remains uncertain, underscoring the requirement for companies to make more audacious moves in incorporating digital infrastructure. As stated by the International Telecommunication Union, China’s digital infrastructure can be catgorized into three main components: cloud, network, and terminal. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China has proposed guidelines for the integrated development of China Manufacturing 2025, with an emphasis on the concept of ‘Internet plus manufacturing.’ Centering around the industrial aspect, the national innovative public services platform called ‘China Maker’ has the goal to establish an innovation chain that promotes the bridging of manufacturing, the internet, and technology. Currently, China has aspired to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan on Digital Economy Development (the “14th FYP”). Under this initiative, China intends to improve its strategic capabilities in areas such as sensors, quantum information, communications, integrated circuits, and blockchain. Essentially, the Chief Researcher at the Sinosteel Economic Research Institute asserts that this draft plan will help foster and expedite self-sufficiency in key technological domains.


As one of the world’s largest countries, China holds tremendous potential for digitization. The significant strides made in technological fields, especially Artificial Intelligence, stand as invaluable tools for thriving the manufacturing process. By successfully consolidating these technologies, China has a high tendency to transform its business operations and accelerate the digitization throughout the country. As AI continues to play an integral role in businesses’ understanding of consumers, the systematic integration of technology can be the viable solution for China’s digitization efforts.


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