The 500-meter aperture spherical radio telescope, or the FAST, installed in Qiannan, Guizhou province, is among many examples from the recent documentary China Reinvents Itself that shows the country's innovation in science and technology. (Photo provided to China Daily)
China a global leader in giving virtual, industrial sectors a push into future
China's push to cultivate innovation-driven growth will inject new life into the country's real economy and fuel the integration of cutting-edge technologies with manufacturing, experts said.
These experts spoke on the subject after Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, urged the promotion of innovation as part of the country's efforts to develop a modernized economy and to push the country's economic development to a new level.
Qu Xianming, an expert with the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, said that as China pushes the in-depth incorporation of technological advances with economic and social development, innovation will contribute to an increasingly larger part of the real economy.
"Industrial growth will benefit considerably from the strategy, which can motivate the long-predicted convergence of IT and industrial worlds to pick up momentum in China," Qu said.
According to the 2017 report of the World Intellectual Property Organization, China is the only middle-income country among the world's top 25 most innovative economies, where it is ranked 22.
China now has more researchers than the United States, outspends the European Union in research and development and "is on track to beat all other nations in its yearly production of scientific papers", the renowned scientific magazine Nature reported.
But more efforts are needed to leverage such technological and innovative prowess to drive the country's real economy. That is what Xi emphasized during a group study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee last week.
Xi, also president of China, said as part of the task to build a modernized economy, the country should use innovation to lead the development of various sectors; and push the incorporation of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.
He also urged deepening the economic system's reform to speed the improvement of the socialist market economy system, surpass various system and procedural hurdles and stimulate the public's enthusiasm by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
Responding to the call, China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's top equity market regulator, said one of its top priorities is to make the existing initial public offerings rules more inclusive and supportive of companies with new technologies or business models.
Yu Xiaohui, chief engineer at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said a key source of innovation will be big-data-driven smart manufacturing.
"Two years ago, big data was chiefly used to help companies do targeted advertising or recommend personalized news in the consumer market," Yu said. "But now the global industry reaches a consensus that big data is the core to power the new industrial revolution."
China, as one of the world's largest IT markets, Yu said, boasts huge amount of data, which gives the country an unrivaled edge.
Companies already are pursuing high-quality growth that is driven by innovation. Haier Group, China's largest home appliances maker, for instance, has built an industrial internet system, or a network of machines with internet-connected sensors and industrial apps, which collect and analyze data from consumers, suppliers and factories. The system, COSMOPlat, is designed to allow companies to customize products at speed and scale while boosting productivity and cutting costs.
In addition to making Haier's own factories more flexible, Chen Lucheng, a Haier vice-president, said, the industrial internet system is empowering companies by bringing them closer to consumers and suppliers.