Category Archives: Tech

‘Smartphone City’ aims high with R&D boost

One of the reasons for Dongguan having enjoyed such a strong economic performance in 2019 (GDP +7%) is because China’s smartphone industry escaped the ire of US President Donald Trump. Or, more particularly, it is why Chang’an Town, home of Vivo and OPPO, had a good year. With smartphones managing to avoid tariffs in the US-China trade war, the town’s GDP broke the 70 billion mark thanks to surging industrial output that reached 266.73 billion yuan. 

More importantly, however, 2019 will be remembered as the year these homegrown tech giants broke ground on large-scale new R&D centers in the town, pushing up fixed-asset investment by 42% to 7.44 billion yuan.

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Guangdong puts SMEs on blockchain

Guangdong has launched an innovative new SME financing and regulatory system built on blockchain technology, in which companies may register their assets, liabilities and transactions in real time with a wide range of government departments and, in return, gain easier access to credit from banks and other financial institutions.

“Guangdong’s battle against financial risks has been strengthened as powerful weapons have been added,” Li Tengfei, deputy director of the Guangdong Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau, was quoted as saying by local media.

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GBA startup communities: an explainer

As the masterplan of turning the nine cities in Guangdong as well as Hong Kong and Macau into an integrated technology hub unfolds, incubators and accelerators have been springing up around the region, all rushing to gain a foothold in the rise of China’s Silicon Valley.

Incubators, in the Western script, are companies staffed by experienced investors and executives that help startups by providing them with professional training, working space and venture capital. Accelerators are basically doing the same job, but focused on scaling up existing business models. 

The landscape is rather different in China, where the central and local governments are dominant. Here, startup support services are established largely to facilitate the country’s economic development agenda laid down by the Party, and lines are always blurred in terms of the functions of incubators, accelerators and scientific laboratories.

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AI robot has IP rights, says Shenzhen court

Tencent has won a landmark legal case over copyright infringement. Or rather, it might be more accurate to say, one of its bots has.

The Shenzhen-based tech conglomerate’s AI news-writing software program, Dreamwriter, made history recently by becoming the first case of its kind in China to defend the copyright of a non-human. According to local media, no exact date was provided for the verdict. It was issued after a Chinese website specialising in online lending copied an article generated by Dreamwriter in August 2018. It was a commentary on the day’s trading in the Shanghai Stock Exchange, published on Tencent’s stock section of its news portal.

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Shenzhen races to 15,000 5G base stations

Shenzhen has reached its initial target of 15,000 5G base stations ahead of schedule, hitting the goal yesterday, according to local media.

It probably helps that Shenzhen is the home city of network-gear giants Huawei and ZTE. But it should also be noted that the city rolled out a series of lucrative incentives to other developers in order to reach its goal. These included cold, hard cash – 10,000 yuan for every base station opened – as well as subsidies of up to 150 million yuan for operators who pulled the networks together. 

By August next year, 45,000 base stations are expected to have been built, achieving full coverage of the city. This density will lead the country, and provide fertile ground for the development of 5G-related applications.

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Guangdong chooses 5G parks

Guangdong has announced that three cities have been approved to establish specially designated 5G Industrial Parks. They are: Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shantou. 

These parks are where more resources will be devoted to creating clusters of companies engaged in cutting-edge development of applications and services build on the new super-fast network standard, according to local media.

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Shenzhen leads GBA’s AI thrust

Shenzhen has the highest potential for developing an AI industry in the GBA, followed by Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan and Huizhou, according to Guangdong’s leading media group.

Shenzhen’s AI industry ranks third nationally, behind Beijing and Shanghai, in terms of current capability and future development potential of AI, according to the report, published by Nanfang Daily in early December. 

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Guangzhou rolls out ‘smart Customs’

Guangzhou Customs has decided that its trial “robo-inspections” have worked so well in Nansha that it will roll them out citywide this month.

Cargo checking conducted by AI-guided robotics technology has proved remarkably efficient, according to local media. With an AI algorithm and augmented reality video feeds, successful cargo inspections at the second phase of Nansha Port have been boosted from 300 containers to 500 containers on a daily basis, according to

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Cash subsidies for 5G innovation

Guangzhou’s Huangpu District has a plan for building a strong cluster of companies around 5G-enabled products and services. It includes subsidies and rewards of up to 5 million yuan per company, according to local media. 

Those developing core technologies such as high-end microchips, components, and new 5G terminals are in line for up to 3 million yuan in “cultivation rewards”. They can also apply for a one-time subsidy of 300,000 yuan per staff hired that meets the city government’s standards for “talent”.

On top of that, successful companies generating sales of more than 100 million yuan can get rewards of up to 2 million yuan. 

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Shenzhen adopts blockchain-based IDs

Shenzhen has become the first local government in the GBA to adopt a digital identity verification system based on blockchain technology.

Via the app, “iShenzhen”, local residents can apply for as many as 24 kinds of commonly used electronic IDs, including resident ID cards and household registration cards. The digital ID will be applicable to more than 100 frequently used services, such as applications for proof of no criminal record and birth registration. From next month, it will be extended business identification areas as well. 

Local officials were quoted as saying that the technology held out great advantages for user data security, ensuring that the digital ID can be trusted and traceable. This would meet the public’s “right to know and supervise,” and improve efficiency. 

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