In­ter­net de­vel­op­ment changes busi­ness and life­styles

China Daily (Canada) - - 9 - By XU WEN

Wuzhen Zhi­cai Pri­mary School’s stu­dents are elated and at­ten­tive as they lis­ten to their English teacher — who is thou­sands of kilo­me­ters away, in New Zealand.

Re­mote video stream­ing en­ables them to in­ter­act with the na­tive-speak­ing in­struc­tor, even though they’re on dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents.

“Wuzhen’s in­ter­net in­fra­struc­ture has de­vel­oped rapidly through the ac­tu­al­iza­tion of the ‘smart­town’ con­cept,” teacher Lu Bingkang says.

“This en­ables stu­dents to eas­ily in­ter­act with for­eign teach­ers.”

But this is just one of many ways in which the em­pha­sis on in­ter­net de­vel­op­ment has changed life in Wuzhen, a town in Zhe­jiang prov­ince’s Tongx­i­ang city.

It has en­abled livestream­ing plat­forms to pro­duce such seem­ingly un­likely web celebri­ties as 80-year-old res­i­dent Hu Hui.

Hu has amassed a large fan fol­low­ing with videos of her per­form­ing the re­gional Yueju Opera, dis­cussing out­fit co­or­di­na­tion and pub­lic group danc­ing.

“Many old peo­ple in Wuzhen use smart­phones,” Hu says, clad in a red sweater she bought on­line.

She also uses Ali­pay, WeChat, Taobao, JD, Douyin and many other apps like young peo­ple in China.

Hu also reg­u­larly visits Wuzhen’s home-based nurs­ing-ser­vice cen­ter, where el­derly res­i­dents can dance, play ta­ble ten­nis, lis­ten to lec­tures, and mon­i­tor and record their health con­di­tions in per­sonal elec­tron­ichealth files.

The in­ter­net has en­abled Qian Xin­ming, who is an of­fi­cially rec­og­nized in­her­i­tor of Wuzhen bam­boo knit­ting, to cre­ate videos show­ing oth­ers how to per­form the craft he has prac­ticed for 40 years. He also runs an on­line store sell­ing bam­boo items.

His son, Qian Li­huai, op­er­ates a pub­lic WeChat ac­count to pro­mote the craft and has re­cruited many stu­dents.

“It’s a strong medium pub­lic­ity,” he says.

Tongx­i­ang city has of­fered 10 bil­lion yuan ($1.44 bil­lion) to trans­form and up­grade en­ter­prises since Wuzhen’s first World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in 2014.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment es­tab­lished a pi­lot zone for in­ter­net in­no­va­tion in Wuzhen the fol­low­ing year.

This has en­cour­aged a grow­ing num­ber of en­trepreneurs to set up shop in the town.

For ex­am­ple, Jin­goal, a tech­nol­ogy com­pany that de­vel­ops in­ter­net plat­forms, has es­tab­lished its re­gional head­quar­ters in Wuzhen.

“Wuzhen of­fers clean air and a good en­vi­ron­ment,” com­pany CEO Wen Rong says.

“The grow­ing num­ber of in­ter­net com­pa­nies will draw more tal­ent.”

Wang Ru con­trib­uted to the story. for

PHO­TOS BY XINHUA AND PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Left: A cus­tomer un­der­goes a health check at a Wuzhen in­ter­net hos­pi­tal. Cen­ter: Lo­cal web celebrity Hu Hui, 80, hosts a livestream ses­sion in the Xizha scenic area in Wuzhen. rec­og­nized in­her­i­tor of Wuzhen bam­boo knit­ting, now runs an on­line store that sells bam­boo items. Right: Qian Xin­ming, an of­fi­cially

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