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Lighthouse Factories Push Made In China Into New Development Stage

Country tops list with number of manufacturers using advanced technology for industrial upgrades

Made in China is now entering a new stage of development, as the country beefs up its push to pursue industrial upgrades and intelligent manufacturing.

China now dominates on the Global Lighthouse Network list, a project launched in 2018 by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with consultancy McKinsey& Company, which is a testament to the country's growing manufacturing prowess.

Formed by more than 130 plants to date owned by various companies, the Global Lighthouse Network is a community of manufacturers applying advanced technologies to speed up and spread the smart adoption of fourth industrial revolution technologies — a fusion of artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, blockchain, 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing and other technologies — to their industries worldwide.

To date, China houses 50 such lighthouse factories, the highest number among any country and accounting for nearly one-third of the world's total. These advanced factories, built by both domestic and foreign companies in China, offer a glimpse into how Made in China is upgrading into smart manufacturing and how the country's sprawling industrial economy will evolve in the future, officials and experts said.

Song Huasheng, a professor at Zhejiang University, said the number fully demonstrates that if China was running behind Western countries in the first three industrial revolutions, the country is now a parallel runner and even a leader in certain subsectors in the fourth industrial revolution.

The progress came as China's top leaders attached high importance to manufacturing and the central government unveiled a string of policies to advance industrial upgrades.


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