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Integration of manufacturing and Internet essential for modern industry

Updated: May 5,2016 11:46 AM

Premier Li Keqiang called for bigger efforts by local governments and enterprises to press ahead with integration between manufacturing and the Internet to build China’s modern industry.

“Internet Plus is an important support for the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, so we need to promote the integrated development of the manufacturing industry and the Internet,” Premier Li said at the executive meeting of the State Council on May 4.

Premier Li said that China has taken the lead in e-commerce development of the world, but the pace for developing the manufacturing industry via the Internet needs to be accelerated. “China has become an industrial country, but has yet to be an industrial power. Hence, we should accelerate the in-depth integration of the manufacturing industry and the Internet,” said the Premier.

The Premier cited the examples of Germany and the United States, saying that Germany’s Industry 4.0 is mainly manufacturing plus the Internet, while the US features Internet plus manufacturing. Although the methods and paths are varied, both strategies can enhance the levels of their manufacturing industries, said the Premier, urging China to draw on the experiences of both, to become an industrial power in the world.

He also referred to several cases from his previous inspections and symposiums: Chinese home appliance maker Haier enabled its employees to become entrepreneurs through the platform of makerspace; Henan CITIC Heavy Industries Co carried out mass entrepreneurship and innovation within the company; China National Nuclear Corp’s Hualong One nuclear reactor design was worked out by pooling the efforts of thousands of people through the Internet.

“The distinguishing feature of the Internet is ‘mass wisdom’, which can greatly save manpower and intelligence. This is the essential course to achieve the development of the modern industry,” said the Premier.

Premier Li stressed that the innovative development of the manufacturing industry lies in the collaborative innovation of large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. Governments at local levels should support manufacturing enterprises to establish online platforms for mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Premier also talked of making use of the Internet’s big data to alter the traditional manufacturing industry. He mentioned the example of suit designs in China’s clothing industry, saying that in the past, given the difficulty of data collecting, we didn’t have our own designs for making suits and always copied those of Japan and Europe. But now, big data of the Internet era brought new paths for the industry. For instance, a clothing enterprise in Jiangsu province accumulated over 2 million data for suit designs, the Premier said.

“Relying on new technologies, including big data, the innovation level of traditional manufacturing enterprises has been remarkably enhanced,” said the Premier.