China is the single most populated country in the world, and is an absolute powerhouse in the Global technology market as a hub for manufacturing and development. One of China’s largest companies, Foxconn, is partnering with French startup Actility to create ThingPark China, a new business focused on the development of long-range, low-power sensors that will drive innovations in the area of smart cities, industry, and agriculture.

“China is an opportunity like no other IoT market,” says Actility CEO Mike Mulica on the Actility website. “It’s growing 30% a year, and a third of the world’s 15 billion connected things in 2020 will be in China.”

Actility is the provider of ThingPark, the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (M2M) service platform. Actility is also a Demand Response aggregator and smart energy management provider.

Foxconn, practically a household name among the tech savvy, is the largest contract technology manufacturer in the world. Its responsible for the manufacturing of many Apple products, as well as products by brands like Sony, Nintendo, and Amazon.

Actility and Foxconn complement each other

What Actility brings to the table in IoT know-how, Foxconn can complement with its ability to innovate at scale, creating solutions that go way beyond what’s possible with the limited resources of a startup.

This ability to scale is essential when the types of solutions being developed are intended to introduce smart city technologies to some of the world’s largest metropolitan areas. These sensors, which will send and receive information across long distances need to be able to operate with minimal battery draw in order to reduce the amount of cost and manpower required to maintain them.

Actility’s team says:

ThingPark China will initially focus on delivering solutions to customers in China. In addition to deploying ThingPark Wireless connectivity, network operations and data management, both as SaaS and “on-premise” services, ThinkPark China will also resell LPWA gateways, which serve as essential hubs connecting sensors in the field to public or private communications networks.

In China’s largest cities, the battle with smog and pollution related to the traffic resulting from massive populations has attributed to an ongoing air quality crisis. With some analysts predicting that smart cities will bring massive savings on both time spent on the road and pollution levels resulting from traffic, this is a sensible step for the country.

ThingPark China will begin operating its services in China as early as Q3 2016.

Ryan Matthew Pierson