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Opinion\From the Press

More inputs into core tech

China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-11 07:22

More inputs into core tech

A 'New Generation' robotic technology is on display in Hefei, capital city of Anhui province, Nov 17, 2016. [Photo provided to]

China produces more than 40 billion ballpoints annually, but nearly 90 percent of its ballpoint pen nibs and refills are imported.

However, such a situation is expected to change soon as Taiyuan Iron and Steel Co Ltd recently announced its successful production of such core components, whose volume production at home will mean the large number of ballpoint pens made in China will no longer depend on imports of these core components.

As a matter of fact, China made breakthroughs in the manufacturing of these components much earlier, but due to the lack of relevant materials and equipment, it has not produced them on a large scale.

So, the latest breakthrough made by the Taiyuan steel producer in the manufacturing of ballpoint pen refills will lay a solid technological foundation for their production, but their real large-scale domestic production still needs further breakthroughs in relevant equipment manufacturing.

Due to the lack of core technologies, none of China's more than 3,000 pen producers have mastered high-end pen nibs and ink manufacturing technologies, and these products and the necessary manufacturing equipment are mainly imported from Switzerland, Germany and Japan at high prices.

The mastering of core technologies as well as relevant materials and equipment will help China extricate itself from its previous low-end position in ballpoint pen production chain. This is not only applicable to ballpoint pens; it also applies to other industries, such as auto and aircraft engines, high-end video cameras, high-end electronic components and chips, where China relies on imported components. Only with core technologies, can a country realize its industrial upgrading and gain a larger profit margin.

China needs to make more inputs in technological research and development to extricate itself from the vicious low-end competition and lay a solid foundation for the realization of its ambition to be a manufacturing power.

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