Home China’s Li touts IoT, sharing economy as growth drivers

China’s Li touts IoT, sharing economy as growth drivers

Amid concerns about the economic slowdown in China, Premier Li Keqiang said his country is seeking new growth in emerging technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) and self-driving vehicles.

As reported by CNBC, Li gave a wide-ranging speech at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Tianjin that emphasized the importance digital technologies will play in China’s future economy.

“We are embracing a new round of industrial revolution,” he said at the economic forum, known as the ‘Summer Davos.’ “We need to implement innovation-driven development.”

Li identified several industries that the Chinese government felt would get the world’s second-largest economy humming again. Prominent among these industries is the sharing economy, which dominated by such ride-sharing services as America’s Uber and China’s Baidu.

“The sharing economy gives everyone a fighting chance to achieve their dreams,” said Li.

He noted ongoing government support of this sector and the interconnected technology field of self-driving cars which is benefiting from ground-breaking policies in China that are paving the way for autonomous vehicle development in China.

China has seen big self-driving car investment

He highlighted the notable investments that multinationals had been made in China on the sharing economy and self-driving cars. Specifically he touted Ford’s $1.8 billion project that will incorporate autonomous driving technologies into cars sold on the Chinese market.

In other fronts, Li said China was pursuing its “Internet Plus” initiative, which strives to give support to such sectors as cloud computing, mobile internet and e-commerce. He said such efforts aimed at ensuring such emerging digital technologies as IoT and cloud computing were integrated into the everyday fabric of Chinese citizens’ lives.

According to Dan Starta, head of ATKearny’s Greater China consultancy, China is currently investing more on research and development into technological innovations than the European Union. And in the number of patents filed, it is now beginning to rival the U.S. as well.

Much of this technological innovation is emerging out of China’s flourishing mobile commerce sector.

“China’s Huawei took the top spot for most patents filed for the second consecutive year in 2015, while ZTE was ranked third,” he said of two massive Chinese smartphone firms. “Mobile commerce grew 140% to $334 billion, or roughly half of all online sales.”

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