From cities to the countryside, from power plants to homes, we are quantifying every facet of our environment. We deploy hardware on farms to monitor environmental conditions, install smart meters in our homes to track energy usage, and stalk components in a supply chain to increase efficiency. The number of potential applications is mind-boggling.

While the figure is much debated, there are expected to be 125 billion devices connected to the internet by 2030, a 360% increase from 2017. In China, the market for these devices is expected to reach $121 billion by 2022. Additionally, the number one shipper of IoT cellular modules in 2017, which allow machines to “talk” to each other over a mobile network, was Shenzhen-based.

The Chinese government has already set out plans to deploy more than 600 million narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) devices—which require very little power and have extended ranges—in the next three years. These will eventually replace the existing network of 2G devices. The Chinese IoT market is enormous.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.