China on world radar with 1st 5G tourist ship

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro Jun 10, 2023

Since 2023, China continues to stay on world radar with breakthrough achievements and new global sensation  attracting international attention. The world’s first large cruise ship with 5G technology, known as Adora Magic City undocked on June 6.

With the showcasing of it, China has become the fifth country able to build large cruise ships after Germany, France, Italy and Finland. It is a substantial evidence of Chinese technology, compatibility and maneuverability.   

Cruise ship is the world’s most complex single electromechanical vessel with more than 25 million parts, five times the number of individual parts used in China’s first domestic aircraft the C919 and 13 times the number used in the fuxing bullet train series.  

Having embodied China’s strength in self-innovation, China’s first home-grown tourist vessel shows China’s determination to open further to the world-different from the US which has pugnaciously pulled out all stops to hamper global supply chains by grouping its allies.

As country's cruise ship industry recovers from the pandemic, the addition of a domestically built giant cruise ship will promote the sector’s growth and homegrown fleet and international cruise fleet will grow together and evolve on differentiated paths to cater to varying segment of consumer demand.   

Adora Magic City set to start commercial operation in 2024, expectedly will sail along Maritime Silk Road offering tourists a special old silk road vista.  

Cruise ship has set a new benchmark in maritime digital communication providing passengers an internet speed of 1000 Mbps, a substantial improvement from SpaceX-enabled maritime internet speed of 100-300 Mbps. Besides, it holds China’s largest duty-free retail space at sea.   

As a matter of fact, China's shipbuilding industry has reached a significant milestone after the launch of gigantic cruise ship. Hu Defang, Chairman of Bohai Shipyard Group, highlights the immense economic potential of cruise ships for China, predicting that by 2035, their contribution to the country's overall economy will reach nearly RMB 550 billion (USD 77 billion). Furthermore, he estimates that 15 percent of this total will be attributed to new shipbuilding and ship maintenance. 

China's shipbuilding sector has consistently demonstrated its prowess, maintaining its position as the leader in the global market for the 13th consecutive year. Six Chinese companies even rank among the top 10 shipbuilding enterprises worldwide. However, Hu emphasizes the need to optimize the product structure of the industry, noting that while China possesses significant shipbuilding capacity, it is mainly concentrated in the low-end sector, lacking sufficient high-end capacity. 

The successful completion of the Adora Magic City cruise liner set a clear direction for the future, emphasizing the importance of promoting the ability to design and construct large cruise ships locally. In line with this vision, a joint statement released by five Chinese ministries calls for the establishment of a collaborative system between local and international partners, as well as the development of a professional supply chain. 

Remarkable growth in Chinese ship making industry 

Recent data released by the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) highlights the remarkable achievements of China in the maritime domain. According to CANSI, China proudly accounted for a staggering 45.5 percent share of the global market in vessel completion, a remarkable feat that showcases its dominance and expertise in shipbuilding. Furthermore, an astounding 53.1 percent of new orders were placed with Chinese shipbuilders, further solidifying their status as the preferred choice for ship procurement. 

Renowned UK-based research firm, Clarkson Research, has provided additional evidence of China's dominance. Their data reveals that China captured an impressive 49 percent of total worldwide new orders in 2022, surpassing its closest competitor, South Korea. This significant achievement not only emphasizes China's current standing but also represents a shift in the global landscape of shipbuilding, with China firmly establishing itself as the undisputed leader. 

With its unmatched capabilities, China is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of the industry and maintain its leadership in vessel completion and orders for the foreseeable future. 

Advantages in productivity and stability  

Experts point out that Chinese shipbuilding companies hold distinct advantages in productivity, production stability, labor, and on-time completion compared to their international counterparts. The data from CANSI indicates a significant improvement in benefits for domestic shipbuilding companies. In the first 11 months of 2022, the 75 monitored Chinese ship enterprises witnessed a year-on-year increase of 11.3 percent in income from main businesses, reaching 280.33 billion yuan ($40.23 billion). Total profits surged by an impressive 109.4 percent, amounting to 7.54 billion yuan. This positive trend reflects the industry's sustained growth and profitability. 

The launch of Adora Magic City, serves as a testament to China's breakthrough in producing cutting-edge cruise ships. It is another step towards Made in China 2025 policy. China's strategic plan, known as 'Made in China 2025,' aims to reduce reliance on foreign technology and propel Chinese shipbuilding manufacturers to global prominence. 

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