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German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel welcomes Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, during the opening of the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover in March 2015.[Photo/Agencies]
Chinese internet-based companies are pitching in to help advance the Belt and Road Initiative by building a "digital Silk Road" between China and Germany and facilitating mutual business exchanges and the realization of Industry 4.0 strategy.
Since Ali Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of the Chinese online commerce giant Alibaba Group, located its first European data center in Frankfurt, more Chinese and European companies have voiced interest in using its service, said Wang Yeming, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe.
The Ali Cloud new data center, which opened in November, provides data storage and processing services, enterprise-level middleware and cloud security services to customers in China, Europe and elsewhere.
With these services the center can break down the barriers caused by different technical systems and help companies better meet the requirements of their targeted customers.
Chinese internet-based companies that want a presence in Europe can save time if they run their business models on the global platform of Ali Cloud, because they do not need to merge the different systems in China and in Germany in an effort to accelerate localization, Wang said.
ZC Rubber, China's largest tire maker and an Ali Cloud client, optimized its production process with the help of Ali Cloud's supercomputing and analysis. Its GoodRide tire was certificated by the German testing and certification provider TUV SuD and reached the European standard last year.
Ali Cloud now has a diversified customer base in Germany, including automotive manufacturing, manufacturing, software developers and gaming clients. German car companies can use Ali Cloud to analyze data gained in China and thus better meet the needs of their Chinese customers, Wang said.
The center is well positioned to meet the increasing demand for secure and scalable cloud computing services from businesses and industries in Germany, as the German government promotes its industrial development with Industry 4.0.
The term Industry 4.0 was coined in 2011 at the Hanover Fair. It refers to a fourth industrial revolution, after those of steam, electricity and information technology, and is based on cyber-physical systems connecting machines.
Germany's strengths in manufacturing and Chinese IT companies' strength in the Internet of Things can complement one another in industrial upgrading, in which digital connectivity plays a crucial role, said Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs of Renmin University of China in Beijing.
"The internet is the key feature of the Belt and Road Initiative in the 21st century, and collaboration in internet-related services along the routes gives strong impetus to innovation and industrial upgrading," he said.
The collaboration between Chinese information technology companies and German manufacturing giants can improve connectivity between the two countries in the digital world, he said.
Resource: China daily