Chinese industrial economy’s fundamentals remain sound despite COVID-19

Beijing: The sound fundamentals backing China’s industrial economy has remained intact despite the impact of COVID-19, but efforts must be made to combat challenges and make up for the losses, a senior industrial official has said.

“China’s industrial performance has improved month by month amid effective epidemic control and policy support,” Xin Guobin, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in an interview with Xinhua.

Xin cited figures that China’s value-added industrial output went up by 4.8 percent year on year in June, picking up from the 4.4-percent and 3.9-percent expansion in May and April, respectively.

He said the epidemic has boosted China’s industrial upgrading and transformation, as well as the development of new products and new industries.
In the first half, the value-added output for high-tech manufacturing grew by 4.5 percent year on year, with the output of electronic components and integrated circuits up by 36.6 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively.

However, with the global pandemic continuing and market demand yet to recover, China still faces many uncertainties and instabilities, said Xin, calling for more efforts to improve the quality of market supplies to stimulate consumption.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s manufacturing sector has withstood the “stress testing” from the virus, and helped ensure a steady global supply of medical supplies, as well as stable industrial and supply chains, said Xin.

He said China will next focus on increasing the stability and competitiveness of its industrial and supply chains, and improving the industrial foundations and the level of modernization for the industrial chains.

Meanwhile, China will push for the establishment of an emergency coordination and management mechanism for global industrial and supply chains to assist other countries to fight the virus and recover their economies, according to Xin.

As far as China’s more than 30 million small- and medium-sized enterprises and 80 million individual businesses are concerned, he admitted that they are still troubled with challenges stemming from a lack of orders, declining profitability, and difficulties in collecting receivables.

Xin vowed that the government will work to ensure the implementation of supportive policies, improve the business environment, and strengthen services for small businesses to help them through difficulties.

China will also promote the construction of 5G networks in major cities while gradually expanding it to major towns and some rural areas where conditions permit, he said.

The country will support the application of 5G technologies in key sectors, including smart healthcare and smart grids, as well as researches in the development of 6G technologies, Xin said.

China has seen rapid progress in the construction of 5G base stations, according to Xin. Some 88 million terminals have connected to the 5G networks in the country as of the end of last month.