Na­tion to beef up re­search of key com­po­nents

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI masi@chi­

China will ramp up in­vest­ment to de­velop es­sen­tial in­dus­trial com­po­nents and ma­te­ri­als next year, in a move to re­duce re­liance on for­eign tech­nol­ogy in key sec­tors in­clud­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and rail­ways.

Miao Wei, min­is­ter of in­dus­try and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, said on Mon­day the min­istry will chan­nel more re­sources to help tackle tech­no­log­i­cal bot­tle­necks in 20 in­dus­trial parts and 15 in­dus­trial ma­te­ri­als.

The ini­tia­tive is de­signed to pro­mote home­grown parts re­lated to telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, the in­ter­net of things, rail­way equip­ment, ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ing and other sec­tors.

“Though China has emerged as one of the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ing pow­er­houses, we still have to im­port ba­sic com­po­nents from other coun­tries. We need to change that,” Miao said at a con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The move is part of China’s broad ef­fort to boost the com- pe­t­i­tive­ness of its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, by en­cour­ag­ing firms to em­brace the in­ter­net, big data and other in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry’s fore­cast, China’s in­dus­trial out­put will ex­pand 6 per­cent year-on-year in 2017, roughly the same growth rate as this year.

Wang Ying, an engi­neer­ing ex­pert at the Bei­jing-based China Cen­ter for In­for­ma­tion In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment, said there is an ur­gent need to cul­ti­vate do­mes­tic firms’ abil­ity to mass-pro­duce re­li­able in­dus­trial com­po­nents.

“High-speed rail­ways, for in­stance, em­body China’s tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess, but frankly speak­ing, sev­eral of their parts still rely on im­ports,” Wang said.

Ding Zhilei, as­sis­tant pres­i­dent of Ninebot Inc, a Bei­jing­based maker of per­sonal elec­tric ve­hi­cles and ro­bots, said the prob­lem also ex­ists in the coun­try’s boom­ing robotics in­dus­try.

A ro­botic arm can be worth sev­eral mil­lion yuan, and most of that cost comes from for­eign com­po­nents, such as speed re­duc­ers and ser­vo­mo­tors.

“The strong pol­icy sup­port will ac­cel­er­ate firms’ re­search and de­vel­op­ment ef­forts, and in­spire in­no­va­tion in this cash-in­ten­sive in­dus­try,” Ding said.

At the con­fer­ence on Mon­day, the min­istry also said it planned to set up an in­vest­ment fund to ad­vance the de­vel­op­ment of new ma­te­ri­als such as heat-re­sis­tant al­loys, light­weight ma­te­ri­als, and graphene, which is re­port­edly 200 times stronger than the strong­est steel.

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