Guangdong flourishes on high-tech road to growth

Province embraces Xi's vision for new quality productive forces to unleash innovation potential

By WANG XU and ZHOU MO in Shenzhen, Guangdong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-04 07:23
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Staff work at a factory of domestic cellphone-maker Oppo in Dongguan, Guangdong province, on May 18. XU JIAYI/XINHUA

After studying President Xi Jinping's theory on new quality productive forces, Liu Yulong, head of Midea Group's Shunde factory in Foshan, Guangdong province, said he realized that "higher thoughts lead to a higher life".

"It holds major theoretical and practical significance. It is actually what we are doing right now — we anticipate a significant transformation in our factory, aiming to set a new benchmark for manufacturing and industrial efficiency in the industry," Liu told China Daily, as he proudly walked amid the bustling production lines.

He has every reason to be proud of the company's achievements. In his factory, a dishwasher is produced every 18 seconds, requiring over 100 steps to turn a roll of stainless steel into a finished product. This efficiency allows the factory to produce 7 million dishwashers a year for sale in 145 countries and regions, making it the top producer of the white good in Asia for several consecutive years.

"Our factories used to heavily rely on the skill level of workers, but that's no longer sufficient for large-scale production," said Liu, adding that the Midea Group has been undertaking initiatives to make its operations leaner, and since 2011 has integrated industrial robots into its production lines to achieve greater output with fewer workers.

"Nowadays, with the integration of AI(artificial intelligence), 5G, big data, and other technologies, we're taking industrial robot operations to the next level, enhancing their quality and efficiency, and moving toward a more refined approach to manufacturing," Liu added.

As a result, Liu's factory was recognized as a lighthouse factory by the World Economic Forum in 2022 due to its performance in production efficiency, technological innovation, product quality, and sustainability. However, the factory is merely the tip of the manufacturing iceberg in Guangdong where promoting high-quality development by accelerating the development of new quality productive forces has been made a top priority, emphasizing innovation, the fostering of emerging industries, and the modernization of traditional sectors.

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