This year will be another difficult one for Rong Juchuan, the owner of a textile firm, who is dealing with the long-term effects of COVID-19. However, rising digital technologies, in the opinion of the industry veteran, provide a glimmer of hope for his firm, if not the whole textile industry.
Beyond Group, based in Zhejiang Province in East China, has pledged to devote more resources on digital fronts this year.
To accelerate transition, ambitious plans have been devised. Rong stated that his business would use livestreaming platforms to increase sales and will investigate the use of the industrial internet in manufacturing lines to reduce operational expenses.
Beyond’s digitization push shows how Chinese firms, particularly those in traditional sectors, are adopting the trend to weather economic woes.
Fast-evolving digital technologies, such as big data and 5G, are transforming the larger economic environment in the industrial industry. China’s digital economy is expected to grow 9.7% year on year to 39.2 trillion yuan ($6.16 trillion) in 2020, accounting for 38.6% of the country’s overall GDP.
Manufacturers, in particular, benefit from digitization because it reduces information asymmetry and increases supply chain openness, allowing for quality development and improved market responsiveness.
The role of digitization has grown increasingly more critical in supporting a dynamic and disruption-free real economy throughout recent COVID-19 resurgences.
As a result of the highly infectious Omicron variant causing COVID-19 flare-ups in numerous places across the country, industrial networks have been put under tremendous strain. Until intelligent transportation technology eased supply networks in hard-hit cities, the flow of commodities was jammed for certain small and medium-sized businesses.
“Since March, we’ve been handling several times more orders than normal, with the majority coming from SMEs with stranded items,” said Ma Feng, a sales manager at JD Logistics.
Products kept in multiple areas can be distributed efficiently and supply chain efficiency can be assured at a maximum level, Ma added, thanks to digital coordination among merchants, warehouses, operations, and other linkages.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in particular, has pushed efforts to make full use of 5G, the industrial internet, and other digital technologies to assist businesses in resolving problems and stabilising industrial and supply chains in recent meetings.
Increased policy assistance is on the way, given the growing importance of digital technology.
According to MIIT head engineer Tian Yulong, a digital transformation action plan is in the works, which includes experiments targeted at merging information technology and manufacturing capability even further.
Support for the digital industry was mentioned in this year’s Government Work Report.
“We will improve general planning for the Digital China programme, establish more digital information infrastructure, gradually develop an integrated national system of big data centres, and deploy 5G technology on a greater scale,” according to the study.
Rong is still concerned about issues as the outbreak continues. However, when it comes to the future, the seasoned businessman is upbeat and optimistic.
“We need to be proactive rather than waiting and reacting,” Rong remarked.