Despite international efforts to innovate in the internet of things (IoT) space, when it comes to the industrial IoT, China is set to take a dramatic lead, according to a report published by GlobalData.

In its Industrial Internet thematic report, published yesterday, the company forecast that China would “claim one-third of the global industrial IoT market by 2025”.

Considered part of industry 4.0, the industrial IoT, which will see industrial operations in locations such as factories transformed into connected, intelligent systems, will, according to GlobalData, “redefine the way much of the global industrial economy operates”.

The industrial internet market is set to be worth $145bn by 2023, according to the company, with utilities being the biggest sector, and manufacturing in second place.

China is expected to be a key player in this area, in part due to its own rapid adoption of the technology, but also due to the technologies it is set to export to the rest of the world.

“China has cultivated around 50 industrial internet platforms that have regional influence, with over 100,000 units of industrial equipment connected to the internet,” wrote GlobalData in the report.

“It has said it aims to build three to five industrial internet platforms, which will reach international standards by 2025, and lead the world in key areas by 2035.”

industrial IoT China

China’s industrial IoT presence a key US concern

The Chinese dominance in the industrial IoT space is a partial realisation of the goals of the Made in China 2025 plan, which was published back in 2015, and which outlined “why China needs to move up the technology ladder and close the gap with developed countries in intelligent manufacturing”.

The plan, which focuses on 10 key sectors that are fuelling the country’s rapid technological development, was met with resistance from the rest of the world, with GlobalData citing it as a key cause of the US-China trade war.

“The global community, led by the US, took umbrage at the plan, viewing it as an attack on imports. The US fears China will succeed in building a dominant tech industry, which is why President Trump started a trade war to try and stop it,” the company wrote.

“There are some who argue that the Trump administration is right to confront Beijing over Made in China 2025 because China’s top-down approach gives its companies unfair advantages.

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“There is evidence that the Made in China 2025 initiative – which would see China retooling its industries to compete in areas like automation, microchips, and self-driving cars – is not only being pushed by the Communist Party’s top leaders, but also from the bottom up, from businesses across China that know they must modernise their operations, and in many instances, cut their labour costs.”

However, despite US attempts to topple China’s growing dominance, the country’s growth in the industrial IoT space is set to continue – and for those companies wanting to raise their own profile in the industry, connections with China appear to be key.


Read more: Industry 4.0: How Tetra Pak is adapting to digital manufacturing


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