Biz / Tech

Big Chinese firms attend tech show

AFP
The Consumer Electronics Show offers a chance to showcase the newest and shiniest gadgetry, looking past the turmoil engulfing the global technology industry.
AFP

The Consumer Electronics Show, that opens on Tuesday in US’s Las Vegas, offers a chance to showcase the newest and shiniest gadgetry, looking past the turmoil engulfing the global technology industry.

The annual gathering with more than 4,500 exhibitors brings out about 175,000 attendees searching for innovations of the future.

For an industry facing unprecedented turbulence, the hope is that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas after it closes on Friday, but filters into the world where consumers can adopt new technologies for health, communication, transportation, the home and lifestyles.

The show opens against the backdrop of mounting concerns on how data gathered from connected devices can be exploited by marketers, governments and hackers.

There has also been a wave of attacks from politicians and activists against dominant tech platforms, as well as intense trade frictions between the world’s economic and technology powers, the United States and China.

Roger Kay, an analyst of Endpoint Technologies Associates, said consumers are slowly coming to terms with the digital world and its privacy tradeoffs, and still appear to be driven toward new gadgetry.

CES 2020 will feature devices infused with artificial intelligence for cars, homes, smart cities and personal health, with many gadgets embracing voice assistants from Amazon, Google and others.

“You will see that across the entire CES — AI embedded in all these technologies,” said Sarah Brown of the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the show.

Attendees will see wearables offering more precise health monitoring for both athletes and seniors, cars with better computer vision to avoid accidents, televisions designed as smart home hubs, and robots with features to help understand or express emotion.

China will still represent the largest non-US delegation at CES, with hundreds of exhibitors, including Huawei, the smartphone and infrastructure giant. “In terms of exhibit space, Chinese space is down slightly from last year, but most of the major exhibitors are returning and some even upping size of presence,” Brown said.

Simon Bryant of Futuresource Consulting said Chinese firms see the show as an important opportunity to demonstrate their ability to compete globally with Silicon Valley. “Chinese firms are looking at places like Latin America and Europe, where they have enormous opportunities,” Bryant said.

CES offers big Chinese tech firms like Baidu the chance to show their digital assistant that compete with those of Amazon and Google, for example. “The Chinese tech companies are very aggressive,” he said.

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