CHINA: Amid the economic strain that the US-China Trade War has caused, it has also resulted in unique business transformations and immense Chinese technological evolution. An example of which would be Jack Ma, co-founder and executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Holding’s vision of New Manufacturing. A novel concept that utilises the Internet Of Things (IoT), cloud computing , artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to mass create highly customised consumer products in a market that is fast leaning towards personalisation.
Additionally, through the integration of New Manufacturing and New Retail, online and offline retail experiences can be connected to and funneled towards the manufacturing pipeline to ensure that consumer feedback are quickly relayed to manufacturing operations, outputs and inventory stocking. A proposition that Ma predicts will drive the Chinese economy forward and reinforces his statement that “If we use machines and data, to integrate and digitalise, we will change the economy”.
Hence, in the face of rising tariffs from the trade war, Ma’s vision alongside the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” industrial master plan aims to reduce the digital gap between China and the West and ultimately, minimise China’s dependecy on imported technologies. A goal that Alibaba is striving towards through strategic partnerships, the establishment of new technology companies as well as acquisitions – as most recently seen by the company’s progress in semiconductor R&D and its production of its own CK902 series of smart chips. A “core technology” that Ma strongly believes should be made locally as China has the largest number of internet users in the world.
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