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Pearl River Delta industries need to smartly adapt to the times

China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-06 07:01

Pearl River Delta industries need to smartly adapt to the times

Alibaba founder Jack Ma speaks at the China (Shenzhen) IT Summit on April 2, 2017. [Photo by Chai Hua/China Daily]

THE HEADS OF all the major domestic information technology giants attended the 2017 China (Shenzhen) IT Summit held in Shenzhen in Guangdong province on Saturday, where they expressed their opinions on the new era of artificial intelligence and smart devices. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of domestic e-commerce giant Alibaba, was quite frank in mentioning the challenges the Pearl River Delta region faces. He pointed out that the traditional manufacturing industries in the Pearl River Delta will be challenged by those offering tailored, personalized services in the coming 10 to 15 years.

His words hit the point. The manufacturing industries in the Pearl River Delta region have long been famous for producing standardized products ranging from radios in the 1980s and MP3s in the 2000s to smartphones today. They are good at making electronic products in large quantities.

However, with AI technology constantly improving, it is increasingly more convenient for businesses to tailor their products and services to better suit consumers. That is a huge advantage over the traditional manufacturing industry that features standardization and uniformity.

At the same time, the Pearl River Delta enterprises face pressures from the rising cost of domestic labor, while the consumers' demands are increasing. All these make it necessary for the Pearl River Delta enterprises to change their business model and provide their own tailored products and services to consumers.

Smart manufacturing can design large quantities of products that meet the diversified needs of consumers within quite a short time.

More important, technology can help solve the problem of the rising cost of labor. Intelligent machines can replace many workers that do repetitive labor in the traditional manufacturing industry. That is good news and a good opportunity for traditional manufacturing industries to turn from labor-intensive to technology-intensive operations.

The challenges that the enterprises in the Pearl River Delta face are also those that the global manufacturing industry faces as a whole. It is time they seized this opportunity and upgraded themselves to meet the requirements of the times.

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