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German firms target digitalized, decarbonized future

China Daily | Updated:2024-05-06 16:17
Two robotic arms work closely together to solve a Rubik's Cube, demonstrating the translation of natural language into machine language to solve manufacturing problems.

This collaborative robot is located at the Siemens Yangtze River Delta AI Lab, which opened in May last year in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province.

The lab focuses on showcasing Siemens' innovations and applications in areas such as AI and big data, aiming to strengthen cooperation and accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta region.

In recent years, there has been strong demand for the digital transformation of Chinese enterprises in various industries. Digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the internet of things, continue to advance, creating economic growth points and cooperation potential for international digital service providers.

The opening of the lab is one of Siemens' steps in the digitalization process in China.

The digital factory of Siemens in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, was declared a "Sustainability Lighthouse" by the World Economic Forum last year for its comprehensive digital energy system. Since 2019, the factory has reduced energy consumption per unit product by 24 percent while increasing production by 92 percent through the establishment of a comprehensive digital energy system.

At Siemens Numerical Control Ltd, a new factory in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu, that began operations in 2022, digitized and automated equipment and systems enable it to increase productivity by 20 percent and volume flexibility by 30 percent compared to the original plants and production lines.

In addition to improving digitalization itself, Siemens is promoting digital transformation cooperation with local companies. During 2023, Siemens cooperated with six Chinese companies to accelerate the intelligent digital transformation process.

This March, Siemens Advanta Consulting, focusing on end-to-end digitalization services, signed an agreement with Suzhou New District to establish its China headquarters in Suzhou.

Roland Busch, president and CEO of Siemens AG, views China as a country with a high acceptance and use of digital technology, a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, and an urgent need for digital transformation. It could become a leading market for driving global industrial digitalization, which is very attractive for digitalization solution providers like Siemens.

Led by dual-carbon goals, China's green and low-carbon industry has made great progress in recent years, providing technology development opportunities for multinational corporations.

Eyeing opportunities in China's new-energy vehicles industry, German auto supplier Schaeffler inaugurated the second phase of its factory in Taicang of Jiangsu in November last year, and signed an agreement for the third-phase project, with an investment of 1.5 billion yuan ($207 million).

While seeking opportunities for green economy development, German companies are also implementing low-carbon production requirements in their supply chain cooperation strategies.

"We are not only gradually promoting low-carbon production ourselves, but are also incorporating the environmental, social and governance standards into considerations for upstream and downstream value chain cooperation," said Guo Huaying, senior manager of Knorr-Bremse CVS China.

By 2030, the company's carbon emissions are expected to be reduced by 75 percent compared to 2018, while a 25 percent reduction target has been set for upstream and downstream industry chain-related areas.

China's economy is accelerating its transformation driven by digitalization and decarbonization, releasing new vitality for development and bringing new growth potential for foreign investors.

The Business Confidence Survey 2023/24 released by the German Chamber of Commerce in China in January shows that more than 90 percent of the surveyed German enterprises plan to continue doing business in the country, and more than half plan to increase investment in China.