Trade fair tech in­no­va­tion bright­ens prospects

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Guangzhou: In China’s largest trade fair in the south­ern city of Guangzhou, a small elec­tric ket­tle at­tracted the at­ten­tion of many for­eign buy­ers. With a sin­gle tap on their smart­phone, users can sit back and wait for the water to be heated to a de­sired tem­per­a­ture. The smart ket­tle, made by Ningbo Smal Electrics Co, is one of the in­no­va­tive prod­ucts at the fair that is re­vamp­ing the no­tion of “Made in China” in many for­eign­ers’ mind. The China Im­port and Ex­port Fair, also known as Can­ton Fair, is con­sid­ered a barom­e­ter for China’s for­eign trade, which has been un­der sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure as global de­mand wanes. Fac­ing eco­nomic un­cer­tain­ties and ris­ing com­pe­ti­tion from over­seas man­u­fac­tur­ers, Chi­nese ex­porters are see­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion as a sil­ver lin­ing. “There’s no way out if you are pro­duc­ing the same stuff,” said Dong Yue­jun, pres­i­dent of Smal. “For the prod­ucts to sell, you have to be dif­fer­ent.” Ms Dong is re­luc­tant to fore­cast how many or­ders they will re­ceive at the fair, but she said she was “op­ti­mistic” about the prospects for prof­itabil­ity. Since 2014, Smal has started the research into the tech­nol­ogy of the In­ter­net of Things, of which the In­ter­net-con­nected elec­tric ket­tle is one re­sult. Like Smal, a ris­ing num­ber of do­mes­tic and for­eign ex­hibitors at the fair are in­no­vat­ing to bat­tle a down­turn in over­seas sales. Zhang Qingfu, vice pres­i­dent for the over­seas op­er­a­tion of Haier, one of China’s ma­jor home ap­pli­ance mak­ers, said per­son­al­ized cus­tomer de­mand is a key rea­son that drives en­ter­prises to in­no­vate. Xin­hua

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