More efforts are needed to build a sound digital infrastructure including internet data centers so that digital technologies can play a bigger role in boosting China's push for industrial upgrade, leading technology tycoons said.
Yang Yuanqing, CEO and chairman of Lenovo Group Ltd, said the accelerated digital transformation in a variety of sectors will trigger an explosive growth in data usage, translating into more computing power for transforming data into valuable assets.
"But challenges still exist, such as data centers having irrational layout, uneven development and relatively low-energy efficiency," said Yang, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress.
According to the market consultancy iResearch, in 2019, internet companies accounted for more than 60 percent of all the data center customers in China, while the financial industry and government agencies together accounted for 30 percent. In comparison, the manufacturing industry only accounted for 3 percent.
"But computing power has become an indispensable support for the innovation and upgrade of the manufacturing industry. More computing power will facilitate industrial upgrade and help China transform from a big manufacturing country into a smart manufacturing powerhouse," Yang said.
The senior executive said more efforts are also needed to provide financing support to supply chains, establish a multilevel insurance market and promote the application of financial technology in supply chain finance to improve efficiency and prevent risks.
Lei Jun, CEO and founder of Xiaomi Corp, highlighted the importance of smart manufacturing in China, and said it was an important direction for China to hone its industrial edge and elevate manufacturing quality.
Smart manufacturing has a very long investment cycle and high risk, and some companies are not interested in to or incapable of steadily pursuing that direction, said Lei, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress.
He called for relevant government departments to continue providing a long-term, stable, and predictable macro policy environment for companies, and further leverage the role of government policies in injecting impetus to the transformation and upgrading of enterprises, especially in indigenous innovation.
Lei suggested the country formulate policies to accelerate the establishment of a collaborative research and development mechanism for leading enterprises, scientific research institutes and first-class universities, and form an innovation consortium to focus on the development of high-performance new sensors, precision reducers and other key intelligent components to achieve breakthroughs in core and key technologies.