When we think of the Internet of Things (IoT), American companies like Google and Apple often come to mind. But a recent report titled "How China Is Scaling the IoT," from Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), has declared China a global leader in IoT deployment with its 74 million machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.
GSMA's Chief Technology Officer Alex Sinclair's made the following comment:
Clearly, China’s size offers economies of scale unavailable to other countries, but it’s been the government’s focused strategy, emphasis on common specifications and cross-sector collaboration that has allowed the Internet of Things to scale, delivering positive benefits to businesses and consumer alike... Connectivity is boosting major industries such as logistics, manufacturing and energy in terms of increased efficiency, but it has also created a new consumer market in areas such as connected vehicles, home appliances and wearables, putting China at the forefront of IoT deployment.
Much of the infrastructural growth has been funded through government initiatives, but the consumer market has also seen an explosion as a result of mobile devices, particularly the emergence of wearables. The connected car has made waves in China as a result of the country's extensive 4G network which provides entertainment, navigation, and safety services. In 2015 there were 16 million connected car services, and it's expected that by 2020 that number will have risen to 67.9 million. By 2024, there might be as many as 130 million connected car services.
A 12 year plan from the Chinese government means there is long-term investment in the IoT sector.
China has also led in the development of standards, establishing an IoT standards association and promoting Chinese-developed standards internationally. Adoption of essential industry specifications and guidelines, such as the GSMA Embedded SIM Specification and the IoT Device Connection Efficiency Guidelines, will enable further growth and scale.** The central government has also selected 202 cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai, to pilot smart city projects to collect, store and analyse information related to transportation, electricity, public safety and environmental factors.
t the forefront of the IoT revolution are China's mobile carriers - China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. However these business are expanding beyond their traditional markets by partnering with automative makers in order to bring connectivity to more devices. For more information on China's investment in IoT, the GSMA report has all the details.