“Made in China 2025” has played an important role to the steady growth of the Chinese economy and transformation of the Chinese manufacturing industries.

Translation by REN Zegang and  Jake Sun

Since its publication in 2015, “Made in China 2025”, a plan coordinated by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and participated by 20 ministries and departments under the State Council, has played an important role to the steady growth of the Chinese economy and transformation of the Chinese manufacturing industries.

Luo Wen, director of Planning Department of MIIT, recently expressed in an interview that implementation of ‘Made in China 2025’ in next stage, should focus at  two strategic fronts: first, the new generation of IT industry and second, development of industrial materials.

The specific industries to be promoted under the first category include software, integrated circuits, new display devices for electronic and mobile devices, cloud computing, big data, virtual reality, green computing, artificial intelligence and related hardware,

The prioritised sectors under the category of new materials are high end steel and alloys, superconducting materials, nano materials, petrochemical materials, high-performance fiber, and graphene,

Xin Guobin, Deputy Minister of MIIT recently commented in an interview that the road map for the implementation of “Made in China 2025” has been further finetuned at the central government level two years since its release.

At present, five key projects listed in “Made in China 2025” have all been started. Primarily it is the program named “Establishment of National Manufacturing Innovative Centres” that encourages domestic research institutes, universities and enterprises jointly participating in research and development projects listed in “Made in China 2025” on a voluntarily basis.

A significant breakthrough from the past is that these centres are no longer state operated institutions but independent entities. These centres will be formed in accordance with the structure of business entities through investment rather than direct government funding.  Though the support from the central and provincial governments to these centres is substantial, the government provided resources will be treated as investment through its agents. The profit derived from innovative products developed by the centres is to be shared between enterprises, universities, state institutions and individuals.

The concentration of resources ranging from capital, high-end equipments, talents, scientific and technological engineering, scientific data and literature should provide a solid foundation to the success of these centres.

On the other hand, participation of companies in these centres that links research and development directly with market offers a shortcut to commercialization. The share of profit between institutions, companies and individuals should provide sufficient incentives ensuring an vigorous and energetic research and development.

In accordance with the latest official data, the government “Made in China 2025” funding for 1078 projects under 42 categories has been made to public this year. These projects have been assigned to 557 entities including 112 universities, 225 state research institutions and 220 companies.

“Enhancement of Industrial Basics” is the second of the five key projects under the banner of “Made in China 2025” commenced this year. This project adopts a problem-oriented approach to target key components that are universally used in all kinds of manufacturing industries. The government will support companies, universities and state research institutions to develop high performance steel and alloy products to be used for aviation engines; integrated circuits and sensors for various digital control devices; high performance shafts and bearings for high speed rail system; seals for deep-sea applications; motors, battery units and control systems for electric cars; controllers, motors, sensors and servo drives for advanced robots and so on.

At present, domestic content is relatively low for high-tech machinery and equipment. Imported content normally comprises more than 50% in these products and dominant in some categories, such as high-end digital control systems, integrated circuits, high-end hydraulic and pneumatic components, ultra-high pressure vessels, high performance steel and alloys, bearings and etc.

“Made in China 2025” plan sets the goal of raising domestic content of core components and materials to 40% by 2020 and 70% by 2025.

The third project is named “Intelligent Manufacturing” which aims to integrate new generation of IT technology with advanced manufacturing and lead to creation of machining stations and processing plants capable of self-sensing, self-learning, self-decision making, self-execution and self-adaptation.

“Green Manufacturing”, the fourth project is to deal with pollution. Specifically through the development of new equipment, machinery and processing technology it should provide  solutions to water pollution in main river catchment; emission control and reduction of high-risk pollutants such as mercury, lead, highly toxic pesticides and other high-risk pollutants; establishment of pilot plants in green manufacturing to reduce water consumption, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emission, particularly in paper, iron and steel processing and power generation.

The last project “Advanced Manufacturing” is aimed to build a capability in designing and manufacturing some high-end equipment by 2020. The target items are large aircraft, airplane engines, steam turbines, aerospace ships and stations, high speed railway system, nuclear power equipment, marine engineering, electric vehicles, advanced communication networks, high-end CNC machine tools and high-performance medical equipment.

China should be able to develop some global brand names related to manufacturing and left the overall industry competitiveness to international advanced level.

Since the release of “Made in China 2025”, China has achieved remarkable success in manufacturing such as the first home-built large aircraft C919 that made its maiden test flight in April, the development of China’s first flexible composite industrial robot, the largest single dish radio telescope in the world, the start operation of the largest gene bank in the world and so on.