China's large population of online shoppers, about 330 million, has created a good foundation for developing industry 4.0, said Gao Hongbing, vice president of e-commerce giant Alibaba, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Sunday.
Gao said e-shoppers will help fuel development of Internet Plus, which will restructure China's industry as a global manufacturer, after the country unveiled a national "Internet Plus" action plan on Saturday.
The plan aims to integrate the Internet with traditional industries, and fuel economic growth
"The application of the Internet will give rise to the restructuring and upgrading of more traditional industries," Gao said.
"A large e-buyer population is China's opportunity for industry 4.0," he said, referring to Germany's Industrie 4.0 - the result of collaboration between the German government, research institutions and businesses focusing on the development of fully-automated "smart" factories.
Guo Kaitian, vice president of Internet giant Tencent, said Internet Plus makes leapfrog development possible in China's underdeveloped countryside, as well as in central and western regions with relatively poor infrastructure. "Internet Plus can directly link supply with demand, and it is an inclusive model of growth."
The Saturday action plan maps development targets and supportive measures for key sectors, which the government hopes can establish new industrial modes, including mass entrepreneurship and innovation, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, finance, public services, logistics, e-commerce, traffic, biology and artificial intelligence.
The Internet Plus concept was first presented by Premier Li Keqiang in March this year when delivering the government work report.