Category Archives: Innovation

Shenzhen takes lead with smart data usage

SCMP has a great story today about Shenzhen’s use of data in governing the city. Read it yourself. Some might think this is all too Orwellian; others will applaud the innovative thinking. Here are some of the highlights:

  • It’s all about better governance
  • Although the city has an official population of 13 million, it has recorded more than 22 million “population data sets”
  • The city has only 40,000 civil servants, 25,000 of whom are police officers
  • Around 2 million cameras are in use
  • Nearly 80% of crimes are solved with the use of videos and data analysis
  • Quote: “Now we have a standardized, scientific and quantifiable method for measuring the quality of Party building.”

Shenzhen launches tech missionaries

US President John F. Kennedy had the Peace Corps. Shenzhen has the Southern Young Entrepreneurs Plan.

According to a joint announcement by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and the Shenzhen Youth Federation, the city will send out what could only be described as tech missionaries to countries in need of entrepreneurial skill development.

With a particular focus on “green tech”, the mission’s objective is to train no fewer than 10,000 people in developing countries over the next five years, equipping them with the skills they need to jump-start their countries’ scientific and technological innovation bases. 

Jorge Chedick, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and Chen Daixing, representative of the Shenzhen Youth Federation of China, announced the launch of the plan at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit held at UN Headquarters in New York.

Chedick said the program will provide “one-stop” support for young entrepreneurs in developing countries, improving their knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, finance, innovation and digital technology, and supporting them to help reduce carbon emissions.

Chen Daixing said that in the past 40 years, young entrepreneurs have been the main force in Shenzhen’s transformation from a small fishing village to a technology center. He believes that Shenzhen, with the power of young entrepreneurs, can provide “Chinese wisdom” for the UN to promote sustainable development goals.

The project will conduct two training sessions in Asia and Africa this year, starting with a focus on digital payments and entrepreneurship.

Zhuhai college launches 5G center

Guangdong has put its first vocational school on a 5G network, choosing the Guangdong Science and Technology Vocational College, based in Zhuhai.

According to local media, the Guangzhou-based college’s “Campus 5G Innovation Application Experience Center” is busy implementing advanced mobile VR/AR applications, allowing students to watch high-definition video in real-time, and rolling out a series of smartphone-based artificial intelligence apps. This is believed to be the first “talent training base” for 5G-based R&D work among the province’s vocational colleges.

The project has been in the making since July, apparently. With the support of Huawei Technologies and the Zhuhai branch of China Telecom, the center is now fully 5G-enabled and plans to start offering courses for students. It will also cooperate with corporates to test and further research their ideas for 5G-related projects. The college plans to work closely with companies clustered in the Zhuhai Software Park, it said.

Shenzhen splashes startup cash

Shenzhen wants everyone to be an entrepreneur, it seems. The city has doubled basic allowances for “startups” and widened their definition to include, well, just about the entire population that works for itself, rather than for corporate titans such as Huawei, Tencent, and Ping An, from what we can see.

According to the Shenzhen Daily News, the basic subsidy for “start-up enterprises”, which can be individuals, has been doubled, from RMB 5,000 to RMB 10,000 yuan. In the case of “partnerships”, i.e., limited liability companies, it goes from RMB 50,000 to RMB 100,000.

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Unmanned ships on the way

Robotaxis are passé. Unmanned aerial vehicles are a crowded space. Self-guided ships seem like the next natural frontier of development in autonomous vehicles – and one in which Zhuhai appears determined to take the lead.

The country’s first unmanned ship R&D and testing base, the Xiangshan Marine Science and Technology Port, was officially completed recently and is expected to open before the end of the year. According to Nanfang Daily, the base will become a “public technology service and innovation incubation platform” for the design, research and development of marine-based unmanned systems and intelligent equipment.

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Founders Space settles in Songshan Lake

Dongguan welcomed the arrival of a top Silicon Valley brand today, as one of the world’s best-known incubator/accelerator companies, Founders Space, opened an office in the Songshan Lake hi-tech district.

The opening ceremony was attended by local government officials as well as the founder of Founders Space, Steven Hoffman, Stanford Research International’s Phillip Whalen, and mayor of the city of Dublin (the one in Silicon Valley), David Haubert. 

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Guangzhou-Hong Kong tech park under way

While Hong Kong gears up for another day, another protest, the provincial capital is building a tech park to cement ties between the two cities. Yesterday saw the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Science and Technology Cooperation Park launch 13 major projects, unveil five innovative platforms, and sign 18 industrial projects.

How much is all this worth, you may ask? Try RMB152.3 billion.  

The park is being jointly developed by Guangzhou’s Huangpu district government, the Guangzhou Hi-Tech Park, and the Hong Kong government. Located in the Guangzhou Development Zone, the park covers an area of 14.5 sqkm. The 13 major projects include strategic emerging industries such as hydrogen energy, AI, and smart wearables, with many funded by Hong Kong companies or joint ventures between Hong Kong and Guangzhou enterprises. 

One of the key projects is the Beijing-Guangzhou Collaborative Innovation Center. It is the first collaboration between two national-level development zones, which formed a strategic cooperation relationship in July. The project aims to promote technology and industry partnerships among the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.

Ping An boosts biotech incubator

Ping An-Dapeng International Bio-Valley, a joint venture between Ping An Urban Tech and the Dapeng district government, has recently teamed up with the Kotler Marketing Corp., a consulting firm based in Washington, DC, to cooperate on building the incubator base as well as raising a startup fund for biotech innovation. 

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Slush comes to Shenzhen

Slushhas arrived in Shenzhen. Not the stuff that comes after a heavy snowfall, but Europe’s leading startup and tech event – all the way from Finland.

Slush has been described by its organisers as the coolest tech conference on the planet, a description that has been well-earned since it was founded in Helsinki over a decade ago. Spreading from Finland to Japan, Singapore and China, the brand is growing in its efforts to bring together thousands of start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors under a global umbrella of cool.

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HK’s first unicorn set to close

A cautionary tale from Hong Kong today: Tink Labs, Hong Kong’s first billion-dollar startup founded by a 25-year-old entrepreneur, is set to shut down after quietly laying off nearly all its employees.

According to the Financial Times ,the Softbank and Foxconn-backed platform was founded in 2012 and provided free-to-use smartphones for hotel operators to promote their services, either in the room or being taken out as a city-guide mobile device. At its launch, the company aimed to be available in 1 million rooms by the end of last year. 

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