China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently issued new guidance on promoting small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) informatization, indicating that by 2020, the level of information technology used by Chinese SMEs should be substantially upgraded.
SMEs should continue to incorporate new information technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and Internet of Things into their core business processes, including development and design, production and manufacturing, operations management, and marketing. Information technology should also continue to be integrated into SME service systems.
The MIIT guidelines outlined several key priorities:
1. Encourage SMEs to use information technology for development and design processes. Encourage computer-based support systems such as CAD/CAE/CAPP/CAM applications, and promote 3D and virtual reality simulation and design methods. Support enterprises' use of digital models for product architecture and performance simulation and testing.
2. Promote applications of smart industrial control systems. Encourage the application of industrial robots and artificial intelligence in manufacturing processes.
3. Encourage and support SMEs in using cloud computing, big data, and mobile Internet information technologies. Support core business development and use of operations management software such as enterprise resource management, office automation, and customer resource management systems, and their transition towards business intelligence systems.
4. Encourage SMEs to use e-commerce service platforms and to use big data resources to improve precision marketing within China and abroad.
5. Promote the application of Internet financing, and encourage lending institutions to use e-commerce and supply chain management platforms to set up diverse channels for collecting credit information about small businesses. Support these institutions' use of big data to guide the distribution of loans to small businesses.
6. Encourage major information service providers to serve SMEs.