In­ter­net Plus expo gets un­der­way in Foshan

City hopes event will boost its mod­ern ser­vice in­dus­try

China Daily - - FOSHAN SPECIAL - By XU JINGXI in Foshan, Guang­dong xu­[email protected]­

What is thought to be China’s first In­ter­net Plus themed ex­hi­bi­tion opened in Foshan on Thurs­day and hopes to speed up the in­dus­trial up­grade of the man­u­fac­tur­ing base in the Pearl River Delta.

The In­ter­net Plus strat­egy is a new busi­ness model com­bin­ing the In­ter­net with tra­di­tional busi­ness sec­tors. The State Coun­cil, China’s cab­i­net, ini­ti­ated the In­ter­net Plus strat­egy ear­lier this year to pro­mote the use of the In­ter­net to up­grade tra­di­tional in­dus­tries and boost the de­vel­op­ment of emerg­ing ones.

“The expo spreads the idea of In­ter­net Plus, en­cour­ag­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to keep up with the times and make full use of in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies in­clud­ing the In­ter­net, cloud com­put­ing, big data and the In­ter­net of Things,” said Liu Yuelun, Foshan’s Party chief.

“The expo will pro­mote the mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween Foshan and the out­side world and hope­fully can stock the city’s tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try with first-class tal­ent, ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies and abun­dant cap­i­tal at home and abroad,” he added.

In­ter­net Plus is a buzz­word in China. While Shang­hai con­cen­trates on “In­ter­net Plus Fi­nance” and Shen­zhen on “In­ter­net Plus E-com­merce”, Foshan is pri­or­i­tiz­ing “In­ter­net Plus Man­u­fac­tur­ing”, ac­cord­ing to Liu.

In May, the city gov­ern­ment drew up an ac­tion plan to or­ga­nize an In­ter­net Plus expo and in­ject the use of the In­ter­net into public ser­vices and busi­ness sec­tors in­clud­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, in­no­va­tion and entrepreneurship, fi­nance, pro­duc­tion ser­vices, cross-bor­der e-com­merce and im­ports and ex­ports.

Liu said given that Foshan is strong in man­u­fac­tur­ing an in-depth com­bi­na­tion of the In­ter­net and the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try was the foun­da­tion for suc­cess.

Need for trans­for­ma­tion

The to­tal ouput value of Foshan’s in­dus­trial com­pa­nies with an­nual rev­enues of more than 20 mil­lion yuan ($3.14 mil­lion) was nearly 1.9 tril­lion yuan in 2014. The amount was higher than that of Guangzhou, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of Guang­dong, and ranked Foshan fifth in China.

The to­tal out­put value of com­pa­nies in the ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor and the high-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor saw year-on-year growth of 11.9 per­cent and 19.0 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the city’s bureau of econ­omy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Foshan has de­vel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive in­dus­trial sys­tem that cov­ers al­most all sec­tors of the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. It is es­pe­cially strong in tra­di­tional busi­nesses in­clud­ing me­chan­i­cal equip­ment, non­fer­rous met­als, home ap­pli­ances, tex­tiles and ap­par­els, ce­ramic build­ing ma­te­ri­als and plas­tics. These ac­count for three quar­ters of the to­tal out­put value of the city’s in­dus­trial com­pa­nies, with an­nual rev­enues of more than 20 mil­lion yuan.

In China, it is be­lieved that ev­ery fam­ily has at least one made-in-Foshan prod­uct. How­ever, it is dif­fi­cult for Foshan to sus­tain its ad­van­tage in these tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors by re­ly­ing on low costs as it has in the past.

“Foshan’s tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try has an ur­gent need for in­no­va­tions in pro­duc­tion and sales to de­velop new core-com­pet­i­tive­ness based on a cus­tomer-ori­ented busi­ness model,” said Zhang Qingyun, deputy di­rec­tor of the city’s bureau of econ­omy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

“The In­ter­net and other in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies are trans­form­ing the mode of pro­duc­tion from large-scale, stan­dard­ized, la­bor-in­ten­sive to small-scale, cus­tom­ized and in­tel­li­gent,” he added.

Busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties

The In­ter­net Plus up­surge in Foshan has at­tracted many In­ter­net com­pa­nies and in­tel­li­gent equip­ment providers to the city.

Alibaba Group Hold­ing, China’s e-com­merce gi­ant, has signed part­ner­ships with the Foshan gov­ern­ment to pro­mote prod­ucts made by about 7,000 lo­cal en­ter­prises online.

It also launched a plat­form for steel pro­duc­ers in Foshan on July 8, mak­ing a break­through in online trad­ing for bulk com­modi­ties. In the eight days fol­low­ing the launch 822 met­ric tons of steel was traded on the plat­form, show­ing huge com­mer­cial po­ten­tial for steel pro­duc­ers to go online.

Alibaba and other Chi­nese lead­ers in the In­ter­net in­dus­try, in­clud­ing Sina Corp, Baidu Inc, Huawei Tech­nol­ogy Co and ZTE Corp, are at­tend­ing the three-day China (Guang­dong) In­ter­na­tional In­ter­net Plus Ex­po­si­tion in the newly built Sino-Euro­pean Ser­vice Cen­ter in the Sino-Ger­man In­dus­trial Ser­vices Zone to pro­mote their tech­nolo­gies and busi­ness plans.

Huawei, one of the world’s ma­jor tele­com equip­ment providers, brought its latest equip­ment and de­signs, in­clud­ing sen­sor and wire­less ac­cess points and cloud com­put­ing, big data and the In­ter­net of Things ap­pli­ca­tion so­lu­tions.

“We would like to co­op­er­ate with the man­u­fac­tur­ers in Foshan to in­no­vate to im­prove their ef­fi­ciency and en­ter­prise se­cu­rity man­age­ment, which will in­crease the com­pet­i­tive­ness of made-in-Foshan prod­ucts in the global mar­ket,” Chen Bin, gen­eral man­ager of Huawei’s Guang­dong of­fice, told Nan­fang Daily. He added that his of­fice hopes to set up a joint in­no­va­tion cen­ter in Foshan with a suit­able lo­cal firm.

The In­ter­net Plus expo is ex­pected to in­tro­duce emerg­ing busi­nesses, such as e-com­merce, cloud com­put­ing and big data, into Foshan to boost the city’s mod­ern ser­vice in­dus­try.

“It will ben­e­fit the eco­nomic restruc­tur­ing of Foshan by build­ing the mod­ern ser­vice in­dus­try into another en­gine for growth be­sides the ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try,” said Liu.

The pro­por­tion of the ter­tiary in­dus­try in Foshan’s eco­nomic struc­ture is 36.5 per­cent, 12.6 per­cent­age points lower than the pro­vin­cial av­er­age.

“Foshan badly needs to speed up the de­vel­op­ment of the ter­tiary in­dus­try and in­crease the pro­por­tion,” Liu said.

The 2015 In­ter­na­tional Ro­bot­ics and In­tel­li­gent Equip­ment In­dus­try Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion is also be­ing held in Foshan and will run un­til Sept 13. About 100 ro­bot pro­duc­ers from home and abroad, in­clud­ing ABB from Switzer­land, KUKA from Ger­many and FANUC and YASKAWA from Ja­pan, are dis­play­ing state-ofthe-art in­dus­trial ro­bot de­signs to help Foshan’s man­u­fac­tur­ers up­grade their pro­duc­tion lines.

Fur­ther dis­cus­sion on the na­tional “Made in China 2025” plan, which hopes to make China a world man­u­fac­tur­ing pow­er­house, and “In­dus­try 4.0”, a high-tech plan ini­ti­ated by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, is sched­uled on Thurs­day be­tween sci­en­tists from the two coun­tries.

Liu said the city is keen to be the per­ma­nent host for the In­ter­net Plus expo.

“We plan to make it an an­nual event and build it into the world’s big­gest and most in­flu­en­tial dis­play plat­form for ap­pli­ca­tions of the In­ter­net Plus model,” he said.

Liu Yuelun, Party chief of Foshan

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