Con­nec­tiv­ity

Progress on dis­play at World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By MASI in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In­no­va­tion will play a big part in fu­el­ing China’s eco­nomic growth as en­ter­prises step up ef­forts to de­velop cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies and up­grade man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, se­nior ex­ec­u­tives of lead­ing com­pa­nies said on Tues­day.

Zhao Weiguo, chair­man of Ts­inghua Un­i­group Ltd, China’s largest chip­maker, said in­no­va­tion has been trans­form­ing the coun­try’s econ­omy over the past sev­eral years.

“As one of the most im­pres­sive re­sults of in­no­va­tion, the in­ter­net is re­shap­ing al­most all in­dus­tries, with ubiq­ui­tous net­works, con­nec­tiv­ity and big data. It will play an even big­ger role in the fu­ture,” Zhao said.

He made the com­ment while ad­dress­ing the me­dia at an in­dus­try expo ahead of the Third World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence, which opens in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang province, on Wed­nes­day.

At the Light of the In­ter­net Ex­po­si­tion that opened on Tues­day, global cor­po­rate icons, in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft Corp and IBM Corp, and do­mes­tic gi­ants such as Al­ibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd and Len­ovo Group Ltd, are show­cas­ing their lat­est prod­ucts in a 22,000-square-me­ter ex­hi­bi­tion cen­ter.

Jian Yibin, gen­eral man­ager of Fox­conn Tech­nol­ogy Group, the world’s largest con­tract elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­turer, said the com­pany is try­ing to up­grade its plants with the in­ter­net and vir­tual re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy. Such an ap­proach can also help ac­cel­er­ate the trans­for­ma­tion of China’s la­bor-in­ten­sive man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

“We are work­ing on un­manned smart plants where ro­bots will take care of many tasks, work­ers can keep track of the real-time man­u­fac­tur­ing process, and ma­chine-to-ma­chine con­ver re­sources sa­tion will be­come a re­al­ity,” Jian said.

The an­nual event, which has at­tracted more than 300 en­ter­prises from across the world this year, comes against the back­ground of China’s evo­lu­tion into the world’s se­cond-largest econ­omy with the world’s largest base of in­ter­net users and a dy­namic home­grown in­ter­net-in­dus­try.

As of June, China had more than 710 mil­lion in­ter­net users, more than one-fifth of the world’s to­tal, ac­cord­ing to the China In­ter­net Net­work In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, which al­lo­cates crit­i­cal cy­ber such as web­site do­mains.

China’s in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion rate is now 51.7 per­cent, 3.1 per­cent­age points higher than the global av­er­age, the cen­ter said.

Ren Ping­ping, gen­eral man­ager of the mar­ket­ing de­part­ment of iF­lytek Co, a lead­ing Chi­nese firm en­gaged in speech and voice recog­ni­tion tech­nolo­gies, said in­ter­net users in China present good op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies to ex­per­i­ment with state-of-the-art tech­nolo­gies.

“AI (ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence) will be the big­gest driver of eco­nomic and so­cial trans­for­ma­tion over the next five to 10 years, and China is stand­ing at the same start­ing line as other coun­tries,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ren, with the help of AI, ro­bots will be­come smarter and automobiles can be equipped with voice-con­trolled vir­tual as­sis­tants.

So far, about 160,000 devel­op­ers are us­ing the firm’s voice cloud plat­form, more than dou­ble last year’s fig­ure.

WANG ZHUANGFEI / CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors in­ter­act with a ro­bot at the Light of the In­ter­net Ex­po­si­tion in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang province, on Tues­day. The expo is part of the on­go­ing Third World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in the town.

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