Digital tech to ease funding woes of small firms

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Digital technologies can play a bigger role in helping small and medium-sized enterprises raise funds, and more efforts are needed to encourage companies to upgrade themselves by embracing cutting-edge technologies, a national legislator said.

Digital tech to ease funding woes of small firms

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Sun Pishu, a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress, said small and medium-sized businesses have been encountering financial difficulties since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Building a financial service platform, powered by big data technologies, can help them better access funds and borrow money from financial institutions,” said Sun, who is also chairman and CEO of Inspur Group, China’s largest maker of servers.

According to him, local governments can contribute to the construction of such a platform by coordinating resources such as data and capital.

In his suggestions to the NPC, Sun also called for more efforts to accelerate the development of industrial internet, a sector that is seeing intense global competition.

Industrial internet development will help companies alleviate their digital anxiety, motivate traditional enterprises to upgrade themselves and expedite their push for digital transformation, Sun said.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, the nation’s top industry regulator, said earlier this week that more than 70 industrial internet platforms with regional or sector-wide influence have emerged in China.

Industrial internet is also being increasingly used in energy, transportation, healthcare and other sectors, Miao said.

The 2020 Government Work Report has highlighted the need to encourage manufacturing upgrade and the growth of emerging industries. Measures include boosting smart manufacturing and creating new competitive strengths in the digital economy.

Sun said more efforts are needed to cultivate talents for the research and development of industrial software, so as to push industrial internet onto the next stage of growth.

Different from consumer-oriented internet that features standardized applications, industrial internet features tailor-made apps to meet companies’ diverse and different demands, he said.

According to him, industrial internet is a focus in Inspur’s strategy and it aims to better help companies’ digitalization efforts by leveraging advanced manufacturing capabilities, cloud computing platforms and abundant industrial experience.

Sun also called for more efforts to build smart data centers, which are part of China’s broader plan to expedite the construction of new infrastructure.

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“We have already felt that new infrastructure-including cloud computing, big data and AI-has played a huge role in fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak. The more digital and intelligent the enterprises are, the faster they can resume work amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” Sun said.

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