China's greater efforts to promote the integration of the industrial internet, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and other next-generation information technologies with green manufacturing will bolster the high-quality and low-carbon development of the industrial economy and inject new impetus into economic growth, officials and experts said.
They said the moves, which align with China's pledge to peak the country's carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, will also improve energy utilization efficiency and drive industrial structure upgrades.
Several central government departments are accelerating steps to formulate an implementation plan aimed at propelling the industrial internet, big data and 5G to empower green manufacturing in some key industrial sectors, such as iron and steel, nonferrous metals, petrochemicals and building materials.
Meanwhile, local authorities are beefing up financial and credit support for the digitalization and green transformation of enterprises.
Improving the ecological environment by fostering green and low-carbon development is among the highlights of the year's Government Work Report. The country will take steps to achieve its dual carbon goals and boost research, development and application of green and low-carbon technology, the report said.
Luo Zhongwei, a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the application of state-of-the-art digital technologies－including industrial internet, 5G and cloud computing－in the green manufacturing sector is conducive to reducing power consumption, improving energy efficiency, accelerating low-carbon transition and encouraging upgrades of industrial structure.
Luo highlighted the importance of fostering green and low-carbon development, which plays a vital role in promoting high-quality economic growth and addressing environmental pollution issues at their roots.
In the face of new downward pressure and rising challenges, China has prioritized stable growth for industrial development this year. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it has placed more emphasis on stabilizing growth and maintaining steady development of the industrial economy.
It has also urged efforts to bolster the construction of "new infrastructure" like 5G, industrial internet and data centers, speed up the large-scale industrial application of digital technologies, and boost the growth of digital economy.
Xiao Yaqing, minister of the MIIT, called for efforts to enhance the core competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, fortify the resilience of industrial and supply chains as well as promote the upgrading of manufacturing and facilitate digital and green transformations.
"The in-depth integration of emerging technologies such as industrial internet, big data and 5G with green and low-carbon industries, and the improvement of green manufacturing and service systems are expected to speed up technological innovation and digital transformation in the industrial segment," said Lu Chuncong, director of the China Academy of Industrial Internet.
More efforts should be made to improve the digitization level of industrial enterprises, Lu said, adding that in particular, the digitization level of small and medium-sized enterprises is relatively low. "It is an urgent need for these enterprises to improve energy consumption management and strengthen data collection and supervision in the process of carbon emissions."