Digital technologies provide major support for 5th CIIE

Zhu Yuting
Digital and high-tech tools, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robots as well as the "digital twin" concept have been adopted to serve the CIIE.
Zhu Yuting

Digital and high-tech tools, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robots as well as the "digital twin" concept have been fully adopted to serve and support the 5th China International Import Expo.

Featuring exhibitors and exhibits from more than 140 countries and regions, the expo will open on Saturday and run through November 10 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) with the assistance of local electric power, water, transport and public security authorities.

The city is gearing up to welcome the event.

Digital technologies provide major support for 5th CIIE
Ti Gong

Staff workers of State Grid Shanghai Company monitor a digital platform which showcases the real-time power supply at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the venue of the 5th China International Import Expo.

Electric power

A digital twin of the electricity network has been developed this year to monitor power supply at the CIIE, according to the State Grid Shanghai Company.

The "digital twin" concept refers to a virtual platform or model that accurately reflects the real-time physical objects and system in the real world. This means that every element and object in the city can be found in its digital reflection in a digital system by simple clicks on a screen.

The system uses image recognition algorithm and monitoring data to assist robots to do specified real-time inspections and locate likely hazards, which significantly shorten the inspection time. It can also return the real-time inspection results.

The system is connected to a smart digital platform, which can monitor the whole electric power usage situation at the expo.

In case of a hazard or emergency situation, the platform can immediately alert repair staff, who will rush to the site.

A total of 900 repairing vehicles and more than 1,900 electricity workers will be on standby round the clock during the six-day expo.

The company has completed five rounds of special equipment inspection on important sites and key lines for the CIIE. A total of 3,572 cables, stretching over 19,000 kilometers, have been checked.

Digital technologies provide major support for 5th CIIE
Ti Gong

An electric staffer uses robots to inspect transmission cables which transfer power to the 5th CIIE.

Water supply

Shanghai water authorities will keep a close eye on the quality of drinking water at the expo.

Along with AR technology and digital monitoring measures, real-time weather conditions will also be integrated to estimate the water supply situation by using a smart system, according to Shanghai Chengtou Water Group, the city's biggest water supply enterprise.

"With 24-hour uninterrupted monitoring, we can make sure the water quality is good enough and meets the standard all the time," said Wu Xiaoyong, an official with the group.

The system is a digital tool connected to a large number of online monitoring equipment, including 658 intelligent monitoring devices for fire hydrants, 61 pipe noise recorders, 18 pipe hydrophones, 1,260 AR inspection devices and nine online water-quality monitoring devices.

Digital technologies provide major support for 5th CIIE
Ti Gong

Shanghai Customs officers use a digital device to scan and collect information on an imported art exhibit for the 5th CIIE.

Customs service

For the 5th CIIE, Shanghai Customs has released a new measure for art and antique exhibits.

For inbound art exhibits, customs officers use special digital equipment to collect and check the characteristic data of high-value cultural relics and art exhibits when they arrive at local ports and exhibition sites and also when they leave.

This is to make sure that the data on relics and art exhibits is clear and accurate when they arrive and exit and also improve the clearance efficiency.

At the 4th CIIE last year, the artworks and antiquities drew great attention in the Trade and Services section.

This year, 12 institutions from five countries and regions will participate in the exhibition, showcasing more than 100 objects with a combined value of 1.26 billion yuan (US$172.37 million). Among them are 43 antiques worth 316 million yuan in total.

Public security

Police officers in Shanghai have adopted cool ways to safeguard and support the event.

Since the end of October, police officers have been riding helicopters to closely monitor the environment around the NECC, the venue. They send real-time pictures taken during their patrols to the command center.

And drones are also on duty in nearby places to monitor traffic flow at each entrance or exit of the venue.

Along with the sky patrol, police have also strengthened inspections at the city's entry points. When a vehicle enters Shanghai from outside, security personnel check the health codes of the driver and passengers.

Police have taken relevant measures at all the nine road entrances and 20 high-speed toll stations in suburban Qingpu District.

Digital technologies provide major support for 5th CIIE
Ti Gong

A police officer patrols around the NECC in a helicopter.

Transport convenience

Visitors and exhibitors will find it easier and quicker to find a way and park a car this year when they visit the expo, because the Suishenxing app, a digital transportation platform initiated by the Shanghai government, will launch a special service module for the CIIE on Friday.

The module features a couple of useful functions, such as booking a parking place, navigating inside the NECC as well as choosing a green solution to travel to the center, which is highly recommended by local transport authorities.

Launched in October, Suishenxing, an all-in-one mobile platform for local traffic information, has clubbed together basic commuting services, including public transportation, taxi hailing and smart parking.

Users can enjoy a swipe-for-all pass that includes all codes needed to take public transport.

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