China will develop the Internet of Things (IOT) industry but local governments should avoid excess investment in the sector

Source: "China will develop the Internet of Things (IOT) industry but local governments should avoid excess investment in the sector, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday.

The IOT - which refers to the virtual representation of physical objects on digital networks - is still a fledgling industry, globally and in China. The ministry plans to build an industrial chain for it by 2015, including 10 IOT industrial parks and more than 100 core enterprises across the country, a statement on the ministry's website said Tuesday.

The market value of China's IOT industry amounted to 200 billion yuan ($31.8 billion) in 2010, and is expected to surge to more than 500 billion yuan by 2015, according to the MIIT.

"Currently IOT technologies are mainly applied in fields such as logistics, transportation and security, because of government investment, and their application in some traditional industries still lags behind," Guo Feng, a researcher with the Wuxi SensingNet Industrialization Research Institute, told the Global Times Tuesday.

The IOT could potentially benefit traditional industries like agriculture. For example, IOT technologies can be used in tracing the sources of agricultural products as a way to ensure food safety, said Wang Huan, a senior analyst at Beijing-based CCID Consulting.

More than 90 percent of provinces and municipalities have listed the IOT as a pillar industry in their development plans, Xi Guohua, vice minister of the MIIT, said last September. 

"Government support is important because the IOT industry is still in its primary stage," Wang said."

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