Ping An Group announced that the latest report from the Fudan-Ping An Research Institute for Macroeconomy has found China’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need a financial and technological boost to transform themselves for the digital economy.
The report, Are China’s SMEs Lagging Behind the Digital Transition? Evidence From a Survey, found that SMEs in China have yet to fully adopt digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, big data and smart manufacturing, and the main barriers to adoption are high costs and tight budgets. The findings are based on a survey of 99 firms (86% of which have fewer than 50 employees in 2019) in a national economic zone in Shanghai in July 2020.
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 brought unprecedented challenges to SMEs in China, but it also provided them with excellent opportunities to go digital. Digital transformation can eliminate information barriers between SMEs and financial institutions, reduce information asymmetry and alleviate financing difficulties. In March 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a special action plan on digital empowerment of SMEs. The Fudan-Ping An Research Institute for Macroeconomy report confirms the necessity of this action plan and recommends that governments at all levels increase their support to large technology companies that are developing standardized digital services which meet the needs of SMEs, and provide tax cuts and financing facilities for SMEs' digital transformation projects.
Read the press release here.