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The Rise of Smart Manufacturing in China

China’s Smart Manufacturing
Image courtesy: GettyImages

BEIJING – China's industrial landscape is experiencing a significant transformation with the rapid adoption of smart manufacturing technologies. In a recent study conducted by Hurun Report, a renowned research firm, several Chinese companies emerged as the frontrunners in the smart manufacturing sector.


The smart manufacturing category rankings were determined by factors such as a company's technological competence in the Internet of Things (IoT), the range of industries served, and the diversity of use case scenarios for their services. Among the top 10 companies were Foxconn's IoT solutions provider unit, Tencent Holdings, and Alibaba Cloud, showcasing their exceptional capabilities in driving smart manufacturing innovations.


In the B2B category, companies were evaluated based on their valuations and transaction volumes. Jingdong Industrials, a subsidiary of JD, secured a prominent position on the list. Known for trading industrial goods ranging from machinery to manufacturing components, Jingdong Industrials showcased its expertise in facilitating business-to-business transactions. Additionally, Shanghai Ganglian, specializing in e-commerce platforms focusing on steel and raw materials, demonstrated its commitment to providing seamless digital solutions.


Companies in the customized operations management category were assessed based on their valuations and patents obtained within the last three years. CloudWalk Technology, an artificial intelligence provider recognized for its facial recognition technology, secured a top spot. Similarly, Alibaba-backed Shiji Information Technology, offering digital backbone services for the hospitality, food, and retail sectors, demonstrated its ability to streamline operations through innovative digital solutions.


Among the 30 companies on the overall list, Beijing emerged as a dominant hub, housing 11 of the top smart manufacturing players. Shanghai followed closely with seven companies, while Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen each boasted four innovative firms. This regional distribution showcases the concentration of technological advancements and business opportunities in these key cities.


According to Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder and chief researcher at Hurun Report, the industrial internet plays a crucial role in driving China's economic growth. While China has implemented regulatory measures targeting consumer internet companies, authorities have simultaneously introduced policies to strengthen the industrial internet. Notable initiatives include a joint proposal by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Cyberspace Administration of China to develop industrial internet platforms catering to small and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology encouraged larger Chinese firms to establish digital platforms for smaller companies and provide related digital services.


China's smart manufacturing sector is rapidly evolving, with companies at the forefront driving innovation and transformation. The rankings by Hurun Report highlight the exceptional capabilities of top players in various categories. Moreover, the government's focus on supporting the industrial internet demonstrates a commitment to fostering technological advancements and creating a conducive environment for business growth. As China's smart manufacturing continues to flourish, it is poised to reshape the country's industrial landscape and contribute significantly to its economic development.

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