It's routine for Li Min, a resident in Shanxi's provincial capital of Taiyuan, to go to the community convenience store called Tangjiu No 1, for breakfast.
She can usually be served within seconds, she said, as she places her order the night before through an app.
The store is also where she can wash her clothes or pay her bills for water, electricity and gas.
Feng Kai, head of this convenience store on Wuyi Road of Taiyuan, said Tangjiu No 1 is one of the first convenience stores in China to combine online and offline services.
"Through receiving orders on an Alipay-powered app, we offer a range of services including retail of goods, meals－both dining-in or delivery to your door－laundry and paying bills," Feng said. "The services are also friendly to senior residents as our app can be used through voice commands."
Tangjiu No 1 is just one example of how Shanxi's service industry is being upgraded with the latest technologies and new operational models.
The service industry, for its role in serving both people's livelihoods and economic development, has developed into a major driver for Shanxi's growth.
Local statistics show that Shanxi's service industry generated a record total revenue of 1.01 trillion yuan ($157 billion) in 2021. It also represented an increase of 8.3 percent from 2020.
The 12th Congress of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, which was held in late October, proposed a new direction for the service industry. It is now required to upgrade toward higher-end and higher-quality operations by incorporating new technologies and new business models.
Powered by new technologies, the manufacturing services sector is among the fastest-growing in Shanxi.
Shanxi's network and information technology companies have offered support to help local manufacturers, especially coal-mining enterprises, adopt the latest digital and 5G technologies.
One example is intelligent coal mines, which have become increasingly automated, manpower-free, efficient and safe with the help of local technological service providers.
Tashan Coal Mine, operated by Jinneng Holding, is one of the beneficiaries of the support from IT service providers. All kinds of operations at its mine, including coal cutting and conveyance in shafts more than 100 meters below the surface, now can be made in its control room thanks to the application of a 5G network.
Shanxi's traditional tourism industry, which features tours of historical and cultural sites, has also benefited from a technological upgrade.
Bell Tower Street, an ancient block in Taiyuan, now uses various e-commerce platforms to promote attractions and draw in tourists. During the National Day holiday in October last year, the site ranked second among China's traditional commercial streets for the number of visits, according to local media reports.
Wang Pei contributed to this story.
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