(Source of Picture: Dalje.com/UPI/Stephen Shaver)

Every big move in China has something to do with the government. We have seen this frequently during the past thirty years. When we think of the development of a specific industry in China, the role of government must be taken into consideration. Generally, the role of government refers to policy-making process and policy preference of the current administration. Therefore, whether your business development caters to the policy preference, or whether the opportunity lies in the particular policy-making process, are some macro-level thinking that every businessman must have when doing business with China.

Now we move to the topic of ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) in China. This is a fast developing industry that brings China to the center of the world. Over the past 15 years, a 620 billion Yuan RMB sales have been made over the past 15 years in China. The government’s innovation policies play a big role during the development. Experts and the public hold different opinions on some controversial moves such as the making an issue of the “Five-year plans” and the GDP-merit-related politician promotion system. We have to admit there is always a gap between ideology and reality. But from a consequential perspective, the government-lead developmental policy does favor the boost of the IOT industry in China. Both central and provincial government put IOT as one of their priority industries. As a result, we have seen the increasing number of industrial parks across China. The close tie between government and economy involves more Government-Business interactions. This brings us back to the question: how the government facilitate the evidence-gathering mechanism for its policy-making Or in other words, what are some ways that businesses can affect and attract the government’s interest?

According to the expert in the field, soft lobbying, investigation, inspection, conference, cooperation, are five types of activities the government uses to gather information during the policy-making process. In detail, the government pays “investigation” to specific industrial actors and functional government official to under the industry. Then, they “inspect” lower level government and industry to verify the accuracy of information they receive. Lower level government “soft lobby” higher level and propose future plan of development. A “conference” is held among industrial and governmental leaders to interact with each other directly in order to exchange opinions and evaluate consequences. “Cooperation” happens when government and business act together to ensure mutual benefits. In general, the Chinese government uses these “micro-level” mechanisms to ensure macro-level policy making.

Reference: Zhilong Tian, Jun Shi, Taieb Hafsi & Bowen Tian (2016): How to get evidence? The role of government–business interaction in evidence-based policymaking for the development of the Internet of Things industry in China, Policy Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01442872.2016.1161180