context: MIIT aims to deploy industrial internet nationwide by 2020 and has announced 72 pilot projects covering five industries and four project areas. Major policy support will go to industrial internet platforms, including five national industrial data centres currently under construction. However, many manufacturing companies are not keen on cloud-based services.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released ‘Guidelines for building and promotion of industrial internet’ on 18 Jan 2019, outlining the central network layout and stipulating preliminary infrastructure and technology to be ready by 2020. Tasks include setting up

  • interconnected infrastructure to serve the entire industrial and value chain, including
    • research and development
    • design
    • production
    • sales
    • management
    • service
  • external and internal benchmarking
  • public service platforms for
    • integrated network technology innovation
    • standard research and formulation
    • test and certification
    • application pilots
    • industrial promotion
    • global cooperation
  • advanced network technology system and standard system through
    • application innovation demonstration projects
    • evaluation and certification mechanism
    • a suitable industrial ecology
  • a preliminary identifier system

The Alliance of Industrial Internet reports that there are 269 industrial internet platforms, mostly in

  • equipment
  • consumer goods
  • raw materials
  • electronic information

Over 50 regional platforms are in operation, says an MIIT official. The development of industrial internet is key to becoming a manufacturing powerhouse, important for becoming an internet power and an emerging engine of economic transition and upgrading, says Liu Duo 刘多 China Academy of ICT director. However, major challenges still remain for the industry, analysts told People’s Daily, highlighting incompatible network communication protocols and barriers between platforms.