Jul 15, 2022|

Dr. Tao: JD.com to Build Capacities for Industrial Metaverse Focusing on Supply Chain


by Vivian Yang

“JD’s Metaverse will be centered on supply chain content to promote new business models, formats and industries that integrate the digital and the real worlds,” noted Dr. Dacheng Tao, a foreign member of the European Academy of Science, director of the JD Explore Academy and a senior vice president of JD.com, at the JD Discovery Global Conference 2022 held on July 13th in Beijing.

The Academy is among the first in China to propose the industrial Metaverse since April 2021. “The industrial Metaverse is not only a kind of technology or product,” Tao pointed out. “It will foster technological breakthroughs and product innovations in the future that will transform many industrial structures.”

Dr. Dacheng Tao, Director of JD Explore Academy 

The White Book on China’s Digital Economy Development shows that the size of China’s digital economy increased 15 times in the past 16 years, surpassing RMB 39 trillion yuan by the end of 2021. The integration of digital and physical economies is an inevitable trend and the rise of the industrial Metaverse brings a new way of thinking in the process.

According to Tao, JD will focus on three areas of capability building in the early stages of industrial Metaverse development, namely Digital Twin, which enables digital representation of the physical world entity or system; Digital Thread, which integrates AI technologies in the virtual world to better solve problems in the real world; and Born Digital, in which deep learning, AI-generated content and more technologies are applied to achieve seamless integration between the two worlds, and will eventually propel hardware upgrading such as more flexible manufacturing units and robotic modules.

These three capabilities are adopted by industries in China at different phases based on their stages of development. For instance, a steel plant may still be in the Digital Twin stage, while a car factory is close to Born Digital.

Tao said that the Academy has used its digital twin system to simulate JD’s supply chain and helped increase its decision-making efficiency by over 95 percent. In the future, more capabilities will be applied to improve the operation of manufacturing, logistics and retail process in the realm of supply chain.