Xu Lin, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China (fourth from left), and other hosts of the event help open the Light of the Internet Exposition on Dec 2 at the Wuzhen International Internet Exhibition and Convention Center in Zhejiang province. [Photo/China Daily by Zou Hong]
World-leading technology was on display as an expo opened on Saturday to get things warmed up for this year's 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in Zhejiang province.[Special coverage]
The four-day Light of the Internet Exposition has attracted participants from across the world to the Wuzhen International Internet Exhibition and Convention Center.
"The expo features the most innovative, cutting-edge products and fields in information technology, including cloud calculation, big data, quantum communication, artificial intelligence, and the shared economy," Yuan Jiajun, governor of Zhejiang province, said at the expo's opening ceremony.
More than 400 companies－100 more than last year－are attending from 13 countries and regions. They include not only industry giants such as BMW, Kaspersky, Alibaba and Tencent but also startups that are leaders in some areas of information technology.
IFly Tek, a top company in voice recognition, showcased its Xiaoyi Translation Machine at the expo, which attracted a lot of visitors on the expo's first day.
"The machine can be put in a pocket and connected to the internet with a cellphone SIM card," said Liu Weiwei, marketing manager of iFly Tek.
Even before the device was launched this year, the company had introduced automatic translation between some languages. The company's products also have been used for simultaneous interpretation at conferences.
Bermal Kaplan, a representative for Hangzhou Tiankuan Technology Co, a security terminal producer for industrial and defense applications, said her company's products have been of great help to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.
"China's internet technology is at least a decade more advanced and convenient than in my home country," said Kaplan, who is from Turkey. "I feel like I am living in the future."
Some companies are newcomers, such as Buick, a division of manufacturer General Motors of the United States and one of world's oldest automakers. "China has the world's leading ecosystem for internet connectivity," said Sam Silverman, a Buick representative.
"Many countries are still in the desktop age, yet China seems to have leapfrogged into the mobile age, and now everything can be done using smartphones in China," he said. "Couple that with strong government support and infrastructure and these advantages will definitely help China's smart vehicle industry flourish."
Ofo, a leading bike-sharing company based in Beijing, was present and also has been working on new technology to benefit customers. "We are trying to make things even easier," said Li Bofei, a business manager for the company.
Ofo, working with Huawei Technologies Co, has introduced a smart bicycle lock that can be unlocked with a smartphone using near-field communication technology, which is "even easier than scanning a QR code", Li said.
Business and technology are advancing rapidly in China, Li said. "Perhaps a new internet approach just created last year might now be considered a traditional one."
At last year's expo, We Doctor Group showed off a smartphone application permitting a user to connect with an online medical care service, smart medical devices and home appliances.
This year, the company is exhibiting a smartphone it developed with a button on the back to make things simpler and easier for elderly users who have trouble with regular smartphones. It allows them to connect to the company's internet hospital platform, which it developed in late 2015, and also has all the functions of a regular phone, said Hou Dan, a marketing manager from We Doctor.