China will make more efforts to popularize smart manufacturing in sectors including raw materials, equipment, consumer goods and electronics, the Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily cited an unnamed official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as saying.
The pilot program started in 2015 as a measure to promote intelligent manufacturing. The country selected more than 60 projects in 2016 and 97 projects in 2017 for the program.
According to a smart manufacturing plan for the 2016-2020 period, China will improve the foundation and supporting capability of smart manufacturing and basically realize the digitization of major fields in the traditional manufacturing sectors by 2020.
China's smart manufacturing sector will see a compound growth rate of about 20 percent in the 2016-2020 period, and the annual output of the sector will exceed 3 trillion yuan (about $473 billion), according to a report from CIConsulting, a Guangdong-based research institution.
Amid China's drive to pursue high-quality development, smart manufacturing is believed to be an important direction for the country's manufacturing transformation and an important part of China's "Made in China 2025" strategy.