A self-service machine backed by facial recognition technology from Alipay, the online payment service of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba's Ant Financial, is used to pay fees at a hospital in Zhejiang province in July 2019. Photo: AFP/Imaginechina

China will expand communications and cooperation with global enterprises and organizations in the industrial internet sector, said the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

“We welcome global enterprises and organizations to actively participate in China’s industrial internet development,” said Liu Liehong, vice-minister of industry and information technology. “We are currently drafting some plans for the next stage of the sector’s development.”

More than 1,100 5G-plus industrial internet projects have been set up in the country due to the rapid advances in the 5G sector, Liu said. In addition, industrial internet projects are now present in more than 30 key sectors like energy, transportation and medical services in the country.

However, a lot remains to be done to guide conventional industry onto the high-quality development path, especially through integration with digitalization, networking and intelligent development, he said.

“To achieve these targets, it is necessary to strengthen innovation, boost infrastructure capabilities and accelerate the integration and application of technologies with a steady opening-up,” said Liu.

Surveys conducted on the industrial internet applications of more than 1,200 enterprises have shown that 71.44% of respondents switched to at least one new model, which effectively promotes industrial transition, upgrades and integrated development, said Liu.

Zhao Zeliang, vice-minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the nation’s top internet regulator, said due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, sectors like online education, work from home and cross-border e-commerce have seen steady growth and this has laid the foundations for sound development and application of the industrial internet sector.

Artificial intelligence

China has been at the forefront of using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to find solutions to global problems like the novel coronavirus outbreak, officials and experts said on Tuesday.

“AI has played a remarkable role in helping a slew of industries fight the negative effects of the pandemic, especially in manufacturing, transportation, logistics, medical care and education,” Liu of MIIT said at the World Internet Conference-Internet Development Forum, which ended on Tuesday in Wuzhen in Zhejiang province.

Despite the lingering uncertainties, the scale of China’s core AI industries reached 77 billion yuan during the first six months of this year, Liu said, adding that the number of AI companies in the country exceeded 260.

The two-day forum attracted more than 130 well known companies and institutions from both home and abroad to showcase new technologies.

Pension fund

China’s basic pension fund saw a return on investments of 9.03% last year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on Tuesday.

The fund, run by the National Council for Social Security Fund, earned investment income totaling 66.39 billion yuan (US$10.09 billion) last year, according to data from the ministry.

The total assets of the fund had reached over 1 trillion yuan by the end of last year.China started market operation of the pension fund in 2016, with the aim of preserving and increasing its value.

Company news

GTI, an industry group dedicated to constructing a robust ecosystem of TD-LTE and speeding up the commercialization of telecommunications standards, officially released the 5G Intelligent Network White Paper V1.0 at the 29th GTI workshop on Monday.

At the beginning of 2020, China Mobile initiated the network intelligence project at GTI in collaboration with a number of mainstream industry partners, including Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Datang Telecom and ZTE.

The white paper emphasized the indispensable role of network intelligence in efficient and quality construction, deployment and the operation of 5G networks. It described how to achieve the ultimate goal of highly intelligent networks – level by level – in terms of standards, use cases, intelligent network-level evaluation, network architecture and function requirements for network management.

It also covered typical cases of 5G coverage optimization, 5G traffic optimization, energy-saving, alarm root cause analysis and customer complaint handling. Mainstream intelligent network grading methods were applied to these cases so the latest standardized achievements could be used to inform live network evaluations.

As one of the members of GTI, Huawei actively participated in the network intelligence project and contributed to multiple chapters in the white paper, such as network intelligent classification and application cases.

Rio Tinto Group Plc, the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation behind BHP, said it would continue investing in China and deepen its partnerships with local players as the country accounted for more than half of its global revenue last year.

The company has strengthened its partnership with Tsinghua University, extending the tenure of the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Joint Research Centre for Resources, Energy and Sustainable Development for another five years, according to Jean-Sebastien Jacques, Rio Tinto’s chief executive officer.

The joint research center has already delivered great insights into the outlook of Rio Tinto’s largest market.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Hu Hongmei and first published at ATimesCN.com.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.