Qingdao emerges as global hub for industrial internet

By ZHANG DANDAN | (China Daily )| Updated : 2020-05-29

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The eastern coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province, is growing into a global hub of industrial internet.

The city is building on a sound industrial foundation, according to local officials.

The industrial internet is regarded by insiders as the latest generation of the internet and a crucial cornerstone of the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by a fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

The industrial internet gathers all kinds of enterprises on one online platform and enables them to interact with each other on matters including human resources, capital, technology and market trends to organize the production and operation of enterprises at a lower cost.

As a renowned manufacturing city in China, Qingdao is the birthplace of a raft of manufacturing companies, including the country's leading home appliance makers Haier and Hisense, world-renowned brewery Tsingtao and top-tier tiremaker Doublestar.

Promoting the transformation and upgrading of Qingdao's manufacturing industry and opening a new chapter of the city's economic growth have been the far-reaching goals of Qingdao for years, according to the local government.

Taking advantage of the industrial internet, Qingdao aims to restructure its industries as well as drive the development of its emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, big data and chips. The city hopes to forge new economic growth drivers that way and achieve high-quality development.

"To develop the industrial internet industry and build a global industrial internet hub is a great opportunity for Qingdao," said Meng Fanli, mayor of the city, at this year's two sessions.

He said by 2022 Qingdao will strive to build a global industrial internet hub with complete development resources, integrated application scenarios and an extended industrial chain.

In developing the industrial internet, Qingdao has the advantages of modern industrial systems, a sound network foundation and experience in industrial internet projects, Meng added.

Powerful platform

COSMOPlat, an industrial internet platform developed by Haier, is a backbone of Qingdao's efforts to build a global industrial internet hub.

With 340 million users, COSMOPlat has developed into one of the top three industrial internet platforms in the world, alongside similar platforms developed by General Electric of the United States and Siemens of Germany, according to officials in Qingdao.

COSMOPlat ranked first among China's cross-industry and cross-sector industrial internet platforms in 2019, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

During the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COSMOPlat has demonstrated the value of an industrial internet platform.

At the beginning, medical supplies for the prevention and control of the virus were running out.

To cope with the problem, COSMOPlat took immediate action and within two days developed an online information-sharing platform for COVID-19 medical supplies.

The platform helped medical-resource producers in Changyuan county, Henan province, to find materials and machines for producing masks.

Integrating its business resources covering manufacturing equipment, raw materials, intelligent procurement and smart medical services, the platform helped Shanxi build its first fully automatic medical mask production line. It also helped the province find raw materials for producing masks, including the melt-blown fabric and nonwoven fabric.

In addition, COSMOPlat provides 16 solutions to epidemic prevention and control aimed at the resumption of business activities. The solutions cover online offices, online education and epidemic data collection and sharing.

Utilizing the integrated development of the manufacturing industry and the internet, Qingdao has made achievements in developing data-driven manufacturing. Some of its enterprises have established industrial internet production models such as intelligent interconnected factories, mass customer-tailored production and remote operations.

New business models

Doublestar created a smart tire factory, which realizes intelligent and customized production and attempts to explore new business models in the tire industry by improving intelligent sales and services.

Qingdao Tgood Electric, China's largest charging pole operator, is helping build an intelligent charging network in the city. The network allows intelligent charging scheduling and intelligent vehicle condition checks, and can provide decision-making reference for new energy vehicle makers with its data analyses.

A number of national-level research institutions have set up their branches in Qingdao, adding fuel to the city's construction of a global industrial internet hub. The research institutions include the China Center for Information Industry Development, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology and the China Academy of Industrial Internet.

Looking ahead, Qingdao plans to engage more enterprises, capital, professionals and technologies in improving its development of the industrial internet.

Platform is the core of industrial internet development, and building platforms will be the priority of Qingdao's future development, city officials said.

To help COSMOPlat develop into a world-leading industrial internet platform, Qingdao is scheduled to mobilize more small and medium-sized enterprises to use the cloud platform, and encourage industrial enterprises above designated scale-with an annual sales revenue surpassing 20 million yuan ($2.8 million)-to share their business resources and expertise such as research and development, manufacturing and operation management on the platform.

With the city's competitive industries in mind, including clothing, home appliances, tires, new energy vehicles, machinery and equipment manufacturing and the high-end chemical industry, Qingdao will build a raft of targeted industrial internet platforms in an attempt to enhance the overall competitiveness of the city's manufacturing industry.

Meanwhile, the city will pay attention to the development of industrial internet application scenarios.

The 2020 Global Venture Capital Online Conference was held in Qingdao on May 8-9. The first 500 application scenarios of industrial internet were showcased at the event, which covered 12 sectors including intelligent software, industrial big data and system integration.

A total of 3,000 application scenarios will be released in the future, according to the city government.

An industrial internet development alliance was launched at the conference. Composed of big-name venture capital companies at home and abroad, representative enterprises in the industrial internet industry and industrial internet platforms, the alliance aims to attract more capital and high-level professionals and further promote technological innovation.

According to the three-year development plan for industrial internet released by the Qingdao city government at the end of April, the city will establish 30,000 5G base stations by 2022. It will also promote more than 3,000 industrial enterprises to complete the transformation toward digitalization, connectivity and intelligence while building a world-leading and 10 nationally renowned industrial internet platforms.



The coastal city of Qingdao plans to use its manufacturing and IT strengths to grow itself into one of the global hubs of industrial internet. CHINA DAILY


Tire manufacturer Sailun Group is one of companies in Qingdao that uses the latest intelligent technologies to upgrade its production. CHINA DAILY


Haier shows its smart manufacturing technologies during a show in Qingdao. CHINA DAILY