Shanghai's new guideline to nurture new-age service providers that operate internet-based platforms to aid producers and manufacturers will help meet rising demand in the real economy and promote high-quality economic development, local officials said on Tuesday.
Addressing a news conference, they said such platforms support the manufacture and distribution of products using their big data and other information technology tools.
Zhu Min, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said such platforms serve various niches like trading in commodities, e-commerce for industrial products, digital transformation services and other professional services.
Comprising 16 measures, the guideline was released by the Shanghai municipal government on Tuesday to facilitate the coordinated development of the secondary and tertiary sectors. It will spur further innovation and meet rising demand from the real economy for development, Zhu said.
The commodity trading platform should pursue major development while platforms for derivatives' over-the-counter trading should upgrade themselves. In this way, futures and spot markets can also be better linked. Production, circulation and related services can be integrated more efficiently, the guideline stated.
Commodity trading platforms for oil, gas, plastic, chemicals and nonferrous metals should be launched in Lingang Special Area, which has been part of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone since 2019, said Liu Min, deputy head of the commission.
According to the guideline, platforms serving digital transformation should step up the use of IT tools like big data, blockchain and the internet of things, among others. E-commerce platforms for industrial products are encouraged to provide professional and one-stop supply chain management services by upgrading their capacity and expanding their business scope. Platforms providing professional services should expand their outreach and start to outsource certain services.
The city government has rolled out an action plan (2023-25) to better implement the guideline, said Ge Dongbo, chief engineer of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization. That could mean industrial internet platforms' total trading value may exceed 3.3 trillion yuan ($460 billion) by 2025.
More than 100 industrial internet platforms should be introduced and nurtured in the city, of which 30 can be industry leaders, he said.
Application of the state-of-the-art technologies such as industrial metaverse and augmented reality are crucial if the internet-based platforms are to transform existing production processes and enhance efficiency, Ge said.
Zhu of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce said Tuesday's guideline will spur innovative development in production, trade, technology research and development and supply chain management. It will also help advance China's construction of a unified market by overcoming geographical constraints and lowering trading costs.
A dynamic balance will be achieved between supply and demand, he said.
As early as 2014, Shanghai introduced a guideline to advance the city's platform economy. A number of resource allocation platforms integrating industrial and value chains have been nurtured since then, said Zhu.
For instance, the 11 platforms for trading in commodities saw their combined annual trading value exceed 10 billion yuan in 2022. In terms of trading value, over 60 percent of iron trading in China was completed by the iron trading platform in Shanghai, he said.