SHIJIAZHUANG — In the workshop of a furniture company in the city of Handan in North China's Hebei province, reams of cold-rolled sheets of steel with a thickness of only 0.6 millimeters are processed into products like intelligent bookcases through multiple processes, such as cutting, stamping, electric welding and spraying.
"These complex processes are completed under the control of digital equipment, such as automatic bending machines, which greatly improves production efficiency and quality of furniture, and enhances the market competitiveness of our products," said Zhang Baixiang, general manager of Steelite furniture company.
"Since utilizing digital production, the value of cold-rolled sheets has at least doubled," said Zhang, adding that the company produces more than 1 million sets of various types of steel furniture annually, which have been sold to over 50 countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
While enabling product upgrades, digital technology effectively solves management problems faced by enterprises after they expand into overseas markets.
In the command room of Chenguang Biotech Group Co Ltd in Handan, real-time data on a computer screen records the production and marketing information of the company's headquarters and its more than 20 subsidiaries distributed in BRI countries.
"Previously, if the products of a subsidiary were unmarketable, the headquarters could not find the reasons in a reasonable time, which caused difficulties for the next marketing decision," said Lu Qingguo, chairman and general manager of the company.
Digital technology has offered a solution to this challenge. With the help of big data, the company has access to any data of a subsidiary as far away as India, such as the amount of raw materials input or the content of pigments in its products.
"Digital technology has promoted the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, given birth to cross-border e-commerce, international finance, digital marketing and other business forms, and fostered new economic growth points," said Zhong Zeyu, vice-president and secretary general of the China Association of Trade in Services.
In addition, China's digital foreign trade service levels are improving. By building new digital trade platforms and optimizing foreign trade service processes, the country's digital technology is injecting new momentum into the economic development of BRI countries and regions.
Based in the city of Langfang, Hebei, supply chain management company Jiajia has independently developed a comprehensive foreign trade services platform. By innovating a new model of digital foreign trade, it provides small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises with full processing services, such as commodity inspections, Customs clearance and foreign exchange settlement.
"From January to August, our company's export volume hit $180 million. Exports to BRI countries and regions accounted for more than 20 percent of this volume," said Zhang Wen, general manager of the company.
Zhang added that the company has established overseas warehouses in several BRI countries and regions, with a total floor area of 90,000 square meters.