The first version of a new e-commerce platform for industrial gases has been launched in China with the inception of the Excellent Gas Network (EGN) in Suzhou in April.

The news follows Premier LI Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China extolling the idea of ‘Internet+’ in his government report at The Third Session of the 12th National People’s Congress held in March.

“With the tail wind generated by Internet+ strategy, we will be able to bring Chinese economy off to a new level,” he commented.

Many industries in China have swiftly put forward their version of such integration with the internet, and the industrial gas industry in China is no exception.

The EGN supply chain integration management platform was officially launched on 21st April, with version 1.0 of the e-commerce system covering the four main areas of buying gases, selling gases, delivery of gases, and tendering and bidding.

Products exhibited on the website include industrial gases, gas equipment and projects, and extended products from gases. It is also planned to include extended value chains such as automatic intelligent technology, and financial clearance, as necessary.

At the launch ceremony, around 10 industrial gas companies including Yingde Gas, Jiaxing Nankai, Wenzhou Wanyuan, Jinhong Gas, Chengkung Gas, Yancheng Guangyuan, Taichang Jinyang, and Taixing Xingda signed a letter of intent of cooperation amounting to approx. RMB 500m ($80m approx.).

Executive Director XIE Kewei expressed in an interview the feature of the platform, ”What is different from traditional e-commerce platform is that, the company intends to provide a one-stop-shop solution of industrial gases for various downstream industries and different types of customers through online transactions, online finance, logistics service and information services, and the ultimate goal is to establish an all-win environment for manufacturers, distributors, end-users and financial institutions.”

The long-term plan for the company is to leverage the ‘internet+’ platform to launch in the capital market in three years time, XIE said.