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Industrial hub aims to transform itself with next-generation internet technology

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | 2021-03-10

Famed as a manufacturing powerhouse city, Qingdao will use its leading role in the industrial internet to build the city into a global industrial internet hub in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), according to the city government.

The efforts will be put into fields such as enhancing new infrastructure construction, developing service-oriented manufacturers and building related world-leading platforms.

As an established industrial system integrates new-generation information technology and manufacturing, the industrial internet is becoming key support for and a strong force in driving the new type of industry, local officials said.

Qingdao has made notable achievements in its accelerated construction of an industrial internet system over the past year.

In April 2020, the Qingdao city government released a three-year plan to construct the city's industrial internet. It set out the target that by 2022, Qingdao will be built as a global industrial internet hub with complete core elements, leading integrated applications and a vibrant industrial system.

The city has focused on introducing a range of innovation platforms and corporate headquarters. It has also been dedicated to integrating Qingdao into the global industrial system in a bid to promote the city in its construction as an industrial internet hub, local officials said.

With the increasing demand for digital construction and application in all aspects, Qingdao has sped up its network construction. To date, the city has built 15,000 5G base stations, ranking first in the mobile network assessment of the country.

Official data showed that in 2020, the rate of digital production facilities achieved 53.4 percent, the penetration rate of digital research and development design tools reached 87.4 percent and the rate of adopting digital control in major processes stood at 54.6 percent. This helped to reduce the average cost of a company's operations by 27 percent and shorten the average period for product R&D by 26 percent. Last year, the Qingdao city government released 1,300 industrial empowerment scenarios centering on different industries and fields. Among them, intelligent applications and intelligent software accounted for 40.5 percent and 18.7 percent of market demand, respectively.

Since 2020, Qingdao has accelerated the construction of platforms featuring cross-industry, cross-field and public services to meet companies' common needs, according to the city government. Based on the scenarios of a public service platform, the city conducted big-data analysis for each business and held offline meetings with them to learn about their needs and provide accurate services.

As the industrial internet develops, local companies will tend to adopt new technologies and thus increase their competitiveness in the supply chain, manufacturing and sales services, local officials said.

Home to manufacturing giants such as Haier, Hisense and Doublestar, Qingdao boasts advantages in many intelligent industrial initiatives. They include COSMOPlat, a consumer-to-manufacturer or C2M industrial platform and an intelligent factory based on "industry 4.0".

These have made the industrial internet become one of Qingdao's most competitive industries, which insiders believe has the capability to promote the city's high-quality development.

COSMOPlat is an industrial internet platform developed by Qingdao-based household appliance manufacturer Haier. The platform has seen nearly 700,000 companies register and serves more than 60,000 enterprises. The intelligent factory built by tiremaker Doublestar has achieved intelligentization in tailor-made production as well as in marketing and services.

In 2021, Qingdao will continue to utilize its growing advantages that have taken shape to promote manufacturing and business and embrace fundamental change. The authorities hope to develop the city from a testing ground to a key zone for the industrial internet, local officials said.

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Visitors inspect intelligent products that were developed by the COSMOPlat industrial internet platform of Haier Group. CHINA DAILY

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Two women try out a virtual dressing room, which uses COSMOPlat technology. CHINA DAILY