FAST FOR­WARD

As the thirdWorld In­ter­net Con­fer­ence comes toWuzhen, vis­i­tors watch as the small wa­ter town leaps from its quaint and quiet past to a high-tech, cut­ting-edge fu­ture.

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD -

As­mall wa­ter town, Wuzhen is sur­pris­ing the world by its trans­for­ma­tion, stim­u­lat­ing new life­styles with the de­vel­op­ment of the in­ter­net. The land­scape is clas­si­cal and el­e­gant, filled with bridges, a gen­tly flow­ing river, the sound of pad­dles stroking the wa­ter, the shad­ows of boats. Charm­ing old houses with white walls and black tiles line the banks. How­ever, the quaint na­ture of Wuzhen has not pre­vented its de­vel­op­ment.

The first on­line hospi­tal was born in­Wuzhen. Cit­i­zens have been able to reg­is­ter for help from over 12,000 pro­fes­sion­als and en­gage in con­sul­ta­tions on­line since the end of 2015.

The en­ergy of smart trans­porta­tion has come toWuzhen as well. The 15G Car Net­work is help­ing driv­ers to make more ac­cu­rate pre­dic­tions about traf­fic; Baidu’s un­manned cars have been ready for vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the con­fer­ence— not to men­tion the smart park­ing ro­bot, which can han­dle the dis­patch of 500 cars at the same time.

The con­fer­ence’s 1,600 hon­ored guests in­clud­ing chair­men of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, lead­ers of in­ter­net en­ter­prises, web celebri­ties, ex­perts and schol­ars have come from around 110 coun­tries and 16 in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. They have par­tic­i­pated in 16 fo­rums on wide-rang­ing in­ter­net topics.

More than 300 in­ter­net en­ter­prises joined The Light of In­ter­net ex­po­si­tion, which pre­sented the de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­net na­tion­ally and glob­ally.

Wuzhen was se­lected to be the site for the­World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence for three rea­sons. First, the in­ter­net econ­omy in­Wuzhen is well-de­vel­oped. Sec­ond, it is mean­ing­ful to use the charm of a small town, which has worked well for the an­nual Davos con­fer­ence in Switzer­land. Fi­nally, Wuzhen is a town with rich Chi­nese tra­di­tional cul­ture that lo­cals can cel­e­brate and vis­i­tors can sa­vor.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

For­mer Aus­tralian prime min­is­ter Bob Hawke gives a speech at the on­go­ing third World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

WANG ZHUANGFEI / CHINA DAILY

For­eign del­e­gates walk along the an­cient streets of Wuzhen.

ZHEN HUAI / FOR CHINA DAILY

The small wa­ter town of Wuzhen has at­tracted global at­ten­tion by host­ing the event.

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