Biz / Tech

City to showcase 500 brands at exhibition

Zhu Shenshen
Facial recognition based on AI, smart cars and the ubiquitous superconductor are all expected to shine at a China-brand exposition that opens in Shanghai on Thursday.
Zhu Shenshen

Facial recognition based on artificial intelligence, electric cars with smart systems and the ubiquitous superconductor are all expected to shine at a China-brand exposition that opens in Shanghai on Thursday.

Such technologies in the Exposition on China’s Indigenous Brands — the first exhibition of its kind in the country — represent the latest high-tech developments from local firms.

The exhibition will feature a total of 500 local brands at Shanghai Exhibition Center. Five Shanghai sections — service, manufacturing, shopping, culture and innovation — will feature the past and current situation of city-originated brands.

Liu Min, vice director of the city’s commerce commission, said the Shanghai Shopping section will comprise two parts, an online display of shopping data and shoppers’ preferences in the central business districts, as well as a physical exhibition of the city’s time-honored brands.

The revival of time-honored brands and supportive measures for their innovation are part of the action plan to turn the city into a world leader in shopping, Liu added.

Unicorn companies, or private firms with a market value of over US$1 billion, and potential unicorns will be represented at the exhibition. Such companies are helping the city to upgrade its economy structure and establish its brand awareness in the global market.

By 2020, about 30 percent revenue of the Shanghai Superconductor Technology Co will come from overseas markets, including the Belt and Road region, said Zhao Yue, the company’s vice president.

“Within a decade, we have established a competitive global brand in the industry representing the future,” Zhao said.

Founded in 2011, Shanghai Superconductor has achieved full autonomous production of the superconducting energy-efficient wire — a new material widely used in the power, transport, automotive and health care industries.

Yitu Technology, a Shanghai-based AI unicorn firm, triumphed in a global facial recognition test last November. Yitu’s accuracy rate surpassed that of firms from Russia and France.

Yitu has expanded into medical and finance sectors as well as the security industry. It also plans to build its own AI chip in future. 

The company raised about 380 million yuan (US$59.7 million) last year, allowing it to offer “similar conditions” to those of Facebook and Google to attract more top AI talent.

Weltmeister, a Shanghai-based electric car startup and another unicorn firm, has established a team of 1,000 professionals from the automotive and IT industries. It has research and high-tech centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, and also in Germany.

The company aims to start producing its first car in the second quarter of next year, which will make it one of the early birds in the industry to debut new cars in the domestic market.

China’s blueprint envisages the value of its AI sectors to exceed 150 billion yuan by 2020 and 400 billion yuan by 2025, according to the State Council.

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