China accounts for more than a quarter of global machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, according to a report by the GSMA association of mobile operators. With more than 50 million connections, the country's at the head of the pack when it comes to Internet of Things adoption. China's lead is thanks to strong government support - the country plans to invest more than $600 billion in IoT through the year 2020. The fact that China's top mobile operators are cooperating with the government to deploy M2M solutions across several fields doesn't hurt, either.

As growth in mobile network subscribers has slowed in China, operators are looking elsewhere to make money. And thanks to government support, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have developed IoT services that will find use cases in healthcare, transportation, education and beyond. As the GSMA notes, "regulatory uncertainty" has held back the growth of large-scale connected devices. Asia alone accounts for 40 percent of the world's machine-to-machine connections, with the United States leading the market outside of Asia.