March 6, 2017 There are more things connected to each other in China via the internet than anywhere else in the world and as the world’s largest manufacturing power with more factories than any other country, China is in a good position to lead the transition to the Internet of Things (IoT).
In 2016, GE opened a “digital foundry” in Shanghai. Chinese companies with the advantage of local knowledge have established similar foundries, the purpose of which is to connect China’s many industrial machines to each other and also to enable Chinese manufacturers to produce and sell goods for the IoT.
There has also been progress on the consumer side. Many new connected things can be managed by the application WeChat. On top of being a social network, this application can also be used for controlling devices such as home lighting systems, security cameras and door locks. It can as well be used to pay bills.
Unfortunately, not everything is plain sailing. There is a lack of global standardization regarding the new narrow band IoT protoco. Many companies have been weakened by the global economic slowdown and cannot afford to connect their machines to the cloud. Chinese factories are also less technologically advanced than their western counterparts so a sudden move to more complicated technologies may be difficult to implement.
In spite of the recent progress, it seems that consumers will need to wait a little longer for the fridge to contact the supermarket for restocking.