Digital transformation to accelerate China's manufacturing growth: report

Updated 2017-04-22 09:00:53 Xinhua

Digital transformation will significantly increase Chinese manufacturers' overall competitiveness and accelerate productivity growth, a report showed.

With digital transformation, China's manufacturing productivity can achieve annual growth of 6.5 percent over the next 15 years, bridging its productivity gap with developed countries in the next 20 years, according to a report released by consulting firm McKinsey & Company Friday.

Of the 130 Chinese manufacturers polled, 76 percent believed that the "Industry 4.0 strategy" will increase their competitiveness, leading to revenue and cost improvements of at least 15 percent.

The number surpassed the 57-percent and 50-percent of their American and German counterparts, indicating higher level of optimism of Chinese manufacturers over what an industrial upgrade could bring.

The so-called "Industry 4.0 strategy," similar to China's "Made in China 2025" plan, promotes digital-enabled operational transformation to elevate the manufacturing sector up the value chain.

Despite Chinese companies' willingness for industrial upgrades, many are still not ready to implement the strategies, according to the report.

Only 57 percent of Chinese firms polled said they're prepared for digital transformation, compared with 71 percent in the United States and 68 percent in Germany.

"One of the biggest challenge for Chinese manufacturers is their lack of a systematic approach to implementing such initiatives," said Arthur Wang, partner at Mckinsey & Company.

Only 6 percent of Chinese companies have a clear roadmap for digitalization, contrasting 33 percent of companies in the United States and 35 percent in Germany.

To address the issues, Mckinsey & Company collaborated with Tsinghua University to set up a digital capability center in Beijing on Friday, hoping the display of digitalized assembly lines and supply chain management tools in the center will give Chinese firms an idea of how to improve their business.

"Every company, even those most successful, needs to upgrade itself to capture the opportunities presented by disruptive revolutions. The digital capability center answers the call for such changes," said Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey Greater China.

China announced the "Made in China 2025" blueprint in 2015 as a way to move manufacturing up in the value chain, promoting development in 10 key sectors such as medical devices and robotics. Authorities have promised "multi-pronged financial support" to implement the strategy.

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