Innovation

Keep track of the latest China technological innovations. 
  1. China’s artificial intelligence (AI) speech recognition champion iFlyTek is going against the grain with a bet that bricks-and-mortar sales will remain a major retail sales channel in future.The Hefei-based company expects offline stores to steadily rise and contribute around 70 per cent of its total sales in future, from an even split between online and offline last year, according to iFlyTek vice-president Li Chuangang. He did not specify an exact date for the forecast.The company plans to…
  2. From ramping up 5G’s roll-out to exploiting its data, the European Union is turning to technology to help it bounce back from the coronavirus crisis and compete better in key areas with the United States and China.As part of a 750 billion euro (US$825 billion) recovery plan announced on Wednesday, the European Commission said the goal was to achieve technology sovereignty in crucial areas after it emerges from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.This has underlined how the 27-country…
  3. Apple has bought machine-learning start-up Inductiv, adding to more than a dozen artificial intelligence-related acquisitions by the technology giant in the past few years.The engineering team from Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv joined Apple in recent weeks to work on Siri, machine learning and data science. Apple confirmed the deal, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”.Inductiv developed technology that uses AI…
  4. Chinese search engine giant and artificial intelligence (AI) champion Baidu said on Tuesday that it has completed construction of what it claims to be the world’s largest testing ground for autonomous driving and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.The 13,500 square metre (145,300 sq ft) Apollo Park in Beijing’s Yizhuang Economic Development Zone houses more than 200 self-driving vehicles and is equipped with facilities to support the full autonomous vehicle development process from…
  5. Five academics from some of China's most prestigious universities and one based in the US are among six Chinese scientists named in this year’s World Economic Forum list of 25 scientists under 40 at the forefront of scientific discovery.Each year the WEF compiles a list of young scientists, and this year’s line up has the highest proportion of Chinese since the project began in 2014. At that time there were no China-based scholars and only two Chinese from American institutes, out of a total of…
  6. Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings plans to invest 500 billion yuan (US$70 billion) over the next five years in new digital infrastructure, a major hi-tech initiative that would bolster Beijing’s efforts to drive economic recovery in the post-coronavirus era.That massive investment will focus on fields that include cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and Internet of Things, as well as the infrastructure to support them like advanced servers, supercomputers,…
  7. China is accelerating plans to enhance its basic scientific research capabilities amid the ongoing tech race with the United States.Beijing is “speeding up” efforts to build 700 “key state laboratories” by the end of the year which will “serve as a significant force to lead fundamental research,” according to state-run newspaper Economic Information Daily. Key state labs, which receive backing from governments, universities or corporations, “will focus on the world's [most] advanced technology…
  8. The list of Intel’s annual supplier award winners tends to read like a who’s-who of the semiconductor industry’s biggest names. This year, it included a little-known Japanese company whose machines have become indispensable in the race to improve semiconductors and whose stock has been rocketing up as a result.Lasertec is the world’s only maker of testing machines required to verify chip designs for the nascent extreme ultraviolet lithography (or EUV) method of chipmaking. In 2017, Lasertec…
  9. At what age can a child start coding? What is the right age for kids to learn computer programming?While ambitious parents in China are already registering kids as young as four for coding classes, the CEO of a major Chinese online gaming and entertainment company proposes that the playing field be levelled by including computer programming in China’s compulsory basic education curriculum.William Ding Lei, the founder and chief executive of Hangzhou-based NetEase, said in a proposal for the Two…
  10. Beijing is accelerating its bid for global leadership in key technologies, planning to pump more than a trillion dollars into the economy through the roll-out of everything from next-generation wireless networks to artificial intelligence (AI).In the master plan backed by President Xi Jinping himself, China will invest an estimated 10 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion) over six years to 2025, calling on urban governments and private hi-tech giants like Huawei Technologies to help lay 5G wireless…