Source: China Daily
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said on Tuesday it would spend $2 billion over the next five years on cybersecurity by recruiting more people and upgrading laboratories, as the Chinese technology major seeks to ease concerns about its telecom gear.
The move came after Huawei has already secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G, or fifth-generation mobile communication technology.
"We have already shipped more than 10,000 base stations for 5G, which demonstrates the trustworthiness of our company," said Hu Houkun, rotating chairman of Huawei.
Huawei is the world's largest maker of telecom equipment and the world's second-largest smartphone vendor by shipments. The company said on Tuesday that it expects revenue to exceed $100 billion in 2018, up 8.7 percent from last year. The comments came as Huawei is recently facing concerns from foreign governments which have doubted the safety of its products.
"We will open a security transparency center in Brussels in the first quarter of next year to ensure clients that our products are reliable," Hu said at a news conference in Dongguan, Guangdong province, adding that no major cyber security incidents have ever happened at the Shenzhen-based company for the past 30 years.
The senior executive also said Japan and France have no formal ban on Huawei's telecom gear, in response to media reports that the two countries have expressed relevant concerns.
The move came weeks after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States. Meng was later released on bail.
Hu on Tuesday highlighted that the company looks forward to a just conclusion of Meng's case.
Huawei gained a 28 percent share of the global telecom equipment market in the third quarter of 2018, up 4 percentage points since 2015, market research company Dell'Oro Group said in its latest report.
As countries around the world scramble to deploy large-scale 5G networks, the global telecom equipment market for the superfast technology will hit $11 billion by 2022, research agency IHS Markit forecast, without disclosing the figure for this year.
Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecoms industry website Cctime, said the consumer electronics industry chain is so globalized, with companies being highly interdependent.
"Any possible harm to one company will have bad effects on others," Xiang said. According to him, it is unreasonable for foreign companies to doubt the safety of Huawei just because it is a Chinese company.
Huawei said its products and services are available in more than 170 countries and regions. It also has more than 13,000 suppliers around the world, from Japan, the US and other countries.
Source: China Daily
HANGZHOU - Chinese internet giant Alibaba on Tuesday opened a hotel loaded with artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, automating a series of procedures like check-in, lights control and room service.
FlyZoo Hotel, opened in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is headquartered, is known as the company's first "future hotel".
Customers can check into the hotel by simply scanning their faces. The facial recognition system installed in the hotel also enables customers to use their faces as key cards to open doors and access other hotel services.
Users can also control the lights, television and curtains in the room via Alibaba's voice-activated digital assistant, while robots are deployed to serve dishes, cocktails and coffee.
Hotel bookings and check-out can also be done with a few clicks on mobile through an app.
"The AI-based solution can help customers save time and relieve hotel employees from repetitive work," said Wang Qun, CEO of FlyZoo Hotel.
The hotel is the latest example of Chinese tech companies' foray into traditional industries such as the hospitality sector.
E-commerce giant JD.com announced in October its strategy to put smart home and electronic devices sold on its platform into hotels, in an effort to boost online sales.
In July, Baidu teamed up with Intercontinental Hotels Group in Beijing to allow guests to use its voice-controlled assistant to adjust room temperature and order room service at ease.
Before that, social media giant Tencent introduced QQfamily, a similar tech solution for hotel operators, in the southern city of Zhuhai last year.
"We want to install a 'smart brain' for hotels," said Wang. "In the future, we will continue to make hotels smarter and more automated, as well as create more customized experiences for consumers."
Source: China Daily
Using its subsidiary PKU Healthcare, Founder Group, a Chinese technology company, plans to establish a comprehensive medical innovation center by 2020 in Beijing.
Its plan is to execute projects like overseas incubation and cross-border investment and establish new branches in other suitable global markets.
PKU Healthcare began to establish a new innovation center in Boston in the United States in early November, a major step for the company to push its presence in global markets.
The innovation center's role is to seek and invest in healthcare projects, recruit overseas talent, develop international remote consultation and train its employees, as well as establish a fund to assist all these activities in the US.
Song Jinsong, chief executive officer of PKU Healthcare, said there are many opportunities to further optimize advanced technologies and human resources to improve services in this sector. These opportunities come from China's growing demand for quality healthcare solutions and medicines, as well as from international collaboration, he said.
Such demand comes in the wake of the government's plan, announced in March, to make coordinated moves to accelerate research and development of various types of medicine and medical equipment, provide healthcare services from top-tier cities to rural areas, and reform healthcare pricing, staffing and remuneration, and medicine distribution.
Song said the innovation center's location in Boston will help the company to access the world's cutting-edge technologies in many areas, as the city has abundant talent resources from medical, engineering, electronics, computer sciences and other fields.
They have made many scientific breakthroughs in various segments such as medical devices, molecular diagnostics and digital healthcare service, he said.
Source: China Daily
CHICAGO－When Beijing Jingdiao Group Co Ltd gave its high-speed and precision-marked 5-axes machinery pride of place at its exhibiting stand at the biennial International Manufacturing Technologies Show in Chicago in September, curious visitors milled around it and sought additional information.
For the Beijing-based high-tech and innovation firm, such attention wasn't new. It had participated in the 2016 show too, and evoked similar queries from visitors.
The 5-axes machinery represented its highest technical level. Founded in 1994, Beijing Jingdiao focuses on research and production of high-speed and precision machining centers.
Among its more than 5,000 employees, 800 are research and development staff. It produces more than 12,000 high-speed machining centers of various specifications every year, with annual output value exceeding 4 billion yuan ($581 million).
The Chinese manufacturer mainly exports to Southeast Asian markets. It kicked off exports in 2007. It opened a service center in the United States in July this year.
"We have lots of large customers in China, who have opened R&D centers here in the US," said David Fan, vice-president of Beijing Jingdiao.
By opening this service center in the US state of Illinois, Beijing Jingdiao can be close to them and assist them in the R&D of new products, he said.
"We have just started on the US market, and have only some sporadic customers," Fan said.
US manufacturing technical level is another factor Beijing Jingdiao has taken a fancy to. Though there are only a few machine tool manufacturers in the US, the country still represents the world's highest manufacturing level.
"The IMTS is always putting on display the world's leading and latest achievements of computer numerical control manufacturing industry," Fan said, adding "there are a lot of things we need to learn. Price-performance ratio is our competitive edge."
Pratic, a Foshan, Guangdong province-based Chinese firm specializing in R&D and manufacture of computer numerical control or CNC machines, displayed an extra-long machine at its stand.
Established in 2008, Pratic is ready for the world market after 10 years of development. "We have already established distributors in Germany, Japan, Australia, India. Now we're into North America," said Chan Mokseng, Pratic's international business director. "We are taking the opportunity with the IMTS to introduce our extra-long travel machine."
Chan is confident that Pratic's products can help customers, operators and manufacturers in the North American market be competitive, reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase output.
"At the same time, they can find that the operation is so easy; maintenance is easy; setting up is easy and the machines are very user-friendly with a low loading table," Chan said.
"We are very sure that with the experience of our existing customers and users, customers in North America will have the same experience."
What made Chan happier is that the company's first customer in North American has come to the company's stand, promising that if the machine on display is not sold during the exhibition, they will buy it as their second machine from Pratic.
The firm does not sell machines only. "We provide solutions very often. We have customers who send us drawings, and we would come up with solutions. We will match the machine type, the spinner power and all the other configurations to make sure that the customers actually come up with the products for their clients that are competitive," Chan said.
Gaoyou Yongfa Machinery Co Ltd from East China's Jiangsu province mainly produces small machine tools. The company was launched for export purpose solely and, like Beijing Jingdiao, participated in the IMTS a second time.
"We are here to consolidate existing customers and develop new customers," Zhu Enquan, general manager of Gaoyou Yongfa, said. The firm displayed its latest products at the event. Its annual sales reached 150 million yuan in 2017.
Source: China Daily
Cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping students in lower-tier cities to gain access to high-quality education, an industry insider said.
"One thing we need to notice is that the majority of Chinese primary and middle school students, who are in huge need of high-quality educational resources, still live in third－to sixth-tier cities," said Hou Jianbin, founder and CEO of Zuoyebang, an online education startup backed by Sequoia Capital.
Hou further said: "Technology is a great leveler. It is helping distribute educational resources across the nation. In the past, such resources used to get concentrated in top cities. Now, even lower-tier cities and remote areas are able to access top-quality education."
With education emerging as a priority area for economic growth-minded China, the government has called for more efforts to apply new technologies like AI in the field, so that the younger generation could grow into a driving force of high-quality development.
Industry insiders said constraints relating to space, time and money are concerns for students, parents and teachers alike.
Recent data showed that there are around 180 million primary and middle school students in the country. More than 73 percent of them live in lower-tier areas.
To tap into this potential demand, the Beijing-based Zuoyebang has leveraged AI and augmented reality or AR.
For instance, its geography lessons incorporate 3-D models of earth, and enable students to see and "turn" the globe around for a proper perspective. The embedded vivid images and animations are a big help, according to some users.
Zuoyebang, Hou said, has also promoted other free online learning products, including a livestreaming course－Zuoyebang Yike－where students call to take online lessons taught by famous teachers in big cities.
Some 60 percent of Zuoyebang's users are based in lower-tier cities. A review of the top 10 areas in terms of average app-use time per user shows that, 45 percent of users come from relatively under-developed areas, including Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Yunnan province and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
"Technologies have a lot more to do. We hope to leverage our strengths like technology to promote not only quality education online but also education equity," he said.
Zuoyebang raised $350 million in its series-D financing this summer, with Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital China, GGV Capital among its investors. It will use part of the funds to make educational resources available to more students, the startup said.
"Opportunities will continue to burst out in the Chinese market, especially from second- and third-tier cities," said Wang Hua, managing partner of Sinovation Ventures, in an earlier interview to China Daily.
Smaller cities could be a promising market even for online education firms, given the popularity of Pinduoduo, which offers online group discounts for low-cost products. Pinduoduo gained popularity in spite of debuting in the online shopping sector much later than Alibaba and JD, he said.