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Regulator to strengthen industry, supply chains

Updated: Aug 26, 2021 By MA SI China Daily Print
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Employees work on an electronics production line of Siemens in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Hua Xuegen/For China Daily]

China's top industry regulator is ramping up efforts to strengthen industry and supply chains, as a more resilient and flexible industry chain is an important foundation for economic growth.

Xiao Yaqing, minister of industry and information technology, said more efforts are needed to make up for shortcomings and weaknesses in supply chains to ensure that industry chains are reliable at crucial time.

"After carefully and comprehensively analyzing 41 major industries and their sub-categories, we drew a map of key industry chains and found the blank points, as well as the weaknesses and shortcomings," Xiao said.

More efforts, therefore, will be made to promote an industrial technology engineering project, and to build more national manufacturing centers to solve these bottlenecks.

In the past five years, China has established 17 national manufacturing innovation centers for semiconductors, smart sensors, 3D printing and other technologies, to address bottlenecks that have been impeding the overall industrial upgrade push.

But challenges exist as China heavily relies on imports of key technologies and components like those used in chip design and production.

Zhang Yuxian, director of the Department of Economic Forecasting at the State Information Center, said to remove hindrances to industrial upgrading and development, the industrial foundation needs to be consolidated and weak links strengthened.

"We need to work harder to enhance technological innovation and emergency responses, speed up breakthroughs on key technologies and build an efficient system of technological innovation and transfers," Zhang said.

Last month, China set out key economic policy directions for the second half of this year, highlighting that the resilience of scientific and technological innovation, as well as industry and supply chains, must be further harnessed, and fundamental research should be strengthened as well.

Xiao from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also called for more efforts to maintain China's strength in supply chains with a string of measures such as building advanced manufacturing clusters.

An advanced manufacturing cluster refers to an industrial grouping formed by a large number of companies and institutions in proximity that carry out mutual cooperation and exchanges.

It is considered to be an advanced form of industrial division of labor and agglomeration development, and is part of China's push to pursue high-quality development of manufacturing, experts said.

Local governments are also working hard to strengthen their industrial chains and to speed up development. For instance, Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, said it aims to grow the output value of its new smart power grid equipment cluster to over 400 billion yuan ($61.8 billion) by 2025.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, the world's largest personal computer maker, said as China is transitioning from a manufacturing powerhouse to a smart-manufacturing center, more efforts are needed to strengthen industry chain management.

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