China’s high-tech push seeks to reassert global factory dominance By Reuters


© Reuters. An worker works at a packaging line for rooster vaccine at Ringpu Biotech in Tianjin, China, September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang


By Kevin Yao

TIANJIN, China (Reuters) – At a manufacturing facility in China’s north, employees are busy testing an automatic car designed to maneuver cumbersome gadgets round industrial areas, certainly one of a brand new era of robots Beijing desires to shift the nation’s manufacturing up the worth chain.

The robotic’s Tianjin-based maker has acquired tax breaks and government-guaranteed loans to construct merchandise that modernise China’s huge manufacturing facility sector and advance its technological experience.

“The federal government is paying nice consideration to the manufacturing sector and the true economic system – we are able to really feel that,” stated Ren Zhiyong, basic supervisor of Tianjin Langyu Robotic Co, as he gave Reuters a guided tour of his plant.

China is backing R&D efforts by high-tech producers like Langyu, pushed by an pressing need to scale back reliance on imported know-how and reinforce its dominance as a worldwide manufacturing facility energy, even because it cracks down on different elements of the economic system

Beijing’s pivot places the deal with superior manufacturing, somewhat than the providers sector, to steer the world’s second-largest economic system previous the so-called “center earnings entice”, the place nations lose productiveness and stagnate in lower-value financial output.

“Strain is the driving power, and with out stress, it’s tough for firms to develop,” stated Ren.

He expects revenues to greater than double to 100 million yuan ($15.52 million) this yr from 2020, on elevated demand for high-tech merchandise corresponding to Langyu’s automated guided automobiles.

Extra broadly, town of Tianjin plans to take a position 2 trillion yuan ($311 billion) between 2021 and 2025, with 60% earmarked for strategic rising industries, Yin Jihui, head of the Tianjin Business and Data Know-how Bureau, informed Reuters.

The funding, comprising company and authorities outlays, will assist enhance manufacturing to 25% of economic system in 2025 from 21.8% in 2020, Yin stated.

The share of strategic industries in Tianjin’s manufacturing facility output may also rise to 40%, Yin stated, from 26.1% final yr.

“It will likely be very tough and difficult to realize these objectives, (as) we have to guarantee secure financial improvement whereas making a transition from previous to new engines,” Yin stated.


China’s five-year plan in March pledged to maintain manufacturing’s share of GDP “principally secure”, in distinction to the 2016-2020 plan that centered on providers to create jobs.

The coronavirus and the Sino-U.S. commerce conflict have reframed the best way policymakers see factories: now not simply dirty relics of an previous economic system however property of strategic worth.

Throughout the pandemic, China’s factories have churned out the whole lot from masks and ventilators to work-from-home electronics, propelling the financial restoration from its file stoop in early 2020.

Moreover, the commerce conflict with america and Washington’s tech curbs uncovered China’s lack of high-tech know-how, hardening Beijing’s resolve to hurry up innovation.

“Rising exterior stress because the begin of commerce conflict has made policymakers extra decided to develop China’s middle- and high-end manufacturing,” stated Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC.

“The upper exterior stress, the extra emphasis they placed on the manufacturing. That might be changed into precise coverage help.”

Tianjin-based Ringpu Biotech, which makes animal vaccines, has confronted essential import delays on U.S. gear and supplies used for R&D and high quality management.

“We’ve got taken some measures, together with growing our personal R&D capability, and cooperating with different corporations and universities,” Ringpu Vice President Fu Xubin stated.

“We’ll search to spice up our skill to seek out substitutes in areas the place we face issues.”


Manufacturing’s share of China’s GDP fell to 26.2% in 2020 from 32.5% in 2006, whereas the providers sector has lifted its contribution to 54.5% from 41.8%, based on the World Financial institution.

Officers fear too fast a shift in direction of providers, which employs extra folks however is much less productive than manufacturing, might undermine long-term development, because it did in some Latin American economies.

Beijing doesn’t need manufacturing to dip beneath 25% of GDP, roughly according to South Korea’s financial profile, authorities advisers stated.

“Governments on the central and native ranges are stepping up help for superior producers, however attaining industrial upgrading will not be a easy experience,” stated a authorities adviser who spoke on situation of anonymity.

From 2021 to 2025, China goals to spice up R&D spending by over 7% yearly, specializing in “frontier” applied sciences corresponding to synthetic intelligence, quantum computing and semi-conductors.

The plan, which broadly supersedes “Made In China 2025” initiative from 2015, targets 9 rising industries: new-generation info know-how, biotech, new vitality, new supplies, high-end gear, new-energy automobiles, environmental safety, aerospace and marine gear.

The central financial institution has channelled extra credit score into manufacturing, particularly high-tech corporations, on the expense of the property sector, which faces recent curbs in opposition to speculative funding.

(Graphics: China’s resurgent manufacturing,

Langyu, the robotics firm, plans to spend about 20 million yuan on R&D this yr, or 20% of anticipated 2021 revenues, helped by higher tax breaks for R&D, Ren stated.

Ringpu channels 8-12% of its revenues into R&D and can spend 1.3 billion yuan between 2020 and 2023 to improve automation and manufacturing.

“For China, to realize tech self-reliance in some sectors is a matter of survival,” stated Tu Xinquan, head of China Institute for WTO Research at College of Worldwide Enterprise and Economics.

“The sense of disaster is an enormous driving power.”

($1 = 6.4333 )

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