Ten key words talked about most in World Internet Conference in Wuzhen
The Second World Internet Conference (WIC), held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, from Dec 16 to 18, reviewed the achievements of China's Internet development over the past two decades and looked into the future by displaying a treasure house of the latest technical inventions. More than 2,000 guests, including state leaders, government officials, business tycoons, Internet titans, and experts, exchanged views on a wide range of topics. Here are the 10 key words talked about most during the conference.
President Xi Jinping calls for a community of shared destiny in cyberspace during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, East China's Zhejiang province, Dec 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Cyberspace community of shared destiny
Cyberspace community of shared destiny has become a buzzword since the Second WIC opened in East China's water town Wuzhen on Dec 16.
The phrase not only caught the audience attention as the theme of the big event, but also took center stage when President Xi Jinping made it a promise during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the conference.
Li Tao, founder and CEO of APUS, said he was excited to hear President Xi's proposal of building a cyberspace community of shared destiny, because "to construct global network infrastructure and promote interconnectivity is essentially to bridge the information gap between different countries."
And other Internet tycoons shared the feelings of Li Tao.
Baidu Inc CEO Robin Li said: "There will be more chances for operations among Internet enterprises in a cyberspace community of shared destiny."
Alibaba Group's founder Jack Ma said: "The phrase voiced our innermost thoughts, since principles of opening, sharing and transparency are the key for joint governance of the Internet and this is a responsibility that shall be shared by both the governments and the individuals."
A man looks at Aliyun cybersecurity services, a platform provided by Alibaba, shown at a cybersecurity exhibition on Nov 24, 2014. [Photo by Wang Yueling /Asianewsphoto]
Cybersecurity was an issue of concern among many attendees of the conference as President Xi Jinping urged the fostering of "a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace."
Addressing the opening ceremony of the WIC, Xi said: "Cyber surveillance, cyber attacks and cyber terrorism have become a global scourge," noting the periodic occurrence worldwide of infringements of individual privacy and intellectual property rights.
Internet experts and business leaders at the conference agreed that no country is endowed with network hegemony or the right to interfere in others' domestic affairs and there should not be "double standards" in safeguarding cyber security.
Meanwhile, industry thinkers also spoke on how to protect the rights of juveniles from Internet rumors and acknowledged that shielding them from crime and pornography remains a challenge.
Cyberspace administration departments in China have their own standards and benchmarks of inspecting and even deleting some online posts or websites, officials said. The posts and websites cannot violate Chinese laws or infringe upon the rights and interests of others, and should not harm the healthy growth of juveniles.
Car-hailing business is a typical example of how sharing economy can thrive in China, says Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi Kuaidi. [Photo/IC]
The government will support the sharing economy and Internet-empowered innovations, said President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the conference.
Xi's remarks boosted the confidence of the new-emerging business model, which also became a hot topic at the conference. Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi Kuaidi, China's largest car-on-demand service provider, said car-hailing business is a typical example of how sharing economy can thrive in China.
According to him, the company, which was founded in 2012 with an initial investment of 800,000 yuan ($123,760), has grown into the largest mobile-based transportation platform in the world with an estimated value of 100 billion yuan.
Sharing economy is the best way to solve the traffic jam in a long run, said Cheng, referring to Beijing's limited resources. About one in four of the 20 million living in the capital has their own vehicle. And the more than five million vehicles have brought down the average speed at rush hour to 12 km per hour.
The sharing economy will continue to thrive because it is much more than hailing a car or renting an apartment from those who have idle assets, said Charles Chao, CEO of Sina Corp, China's online media company. "Any areas that can match demand with supply can adopt this model," he said.
Zhang Ruimin, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Haier Group, speaks at the Second World Internet Conference on Dec 17, 2015. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
As one of the buzzwords in China’s Internet industry, Internet Plus emerged as the idea behind what businesses, both new and old, have been doing to apply the Internet and other information technology to their industries.
After taking on the Internet industry for almost a year, the phrase continued to be the talk of town in Wuzhen, where the annual three-day World Internet Conference concluded on Dec 18. Officials, researchers, and business leaders referred to the term while mapping out the future for China’s Internet-related sectors.
One of the sub forums during the conference centered on Internet Plus. Haier Group CEO Zhang Ruimin, one of the best-known business executives in the country, explained how a traditional home appliance manufacturer such as Haier can transform into an Internet enterprise. Automaker Geely Group is also looking to human-computer interaction as a trend for modern car production, according to the company’s CEO Li Shufu.
The phrase came to the public attention after Premier Li Keqiang brought it about in the Government Work Report on March 5. Li proposed the “Internet Plus” as a strategy to restructure China’s economy and maintain growth momentum. The plan aims to integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things with modern manufacturing.
Experts predict that Internet of Things will generate a new market worth several trillion yuan if it succeeds. [Photo/IC]
Internet of Things
Imagine a world where - be it cars or wearable devices – all things can be connected to each other via the Internet. That was one of the hot topics on the sidelines of the Second WIC, with tech tycoons predicting the sector of Internet of Things (IoT) could be the next El Dorado for the Chinese tech industry in near future.
The IoT may become the best business opportunity in the next five years, said Zhou Hongyi, CEO of Internet security and search company Qihoo 360 Technology, adding his company has been focusing on IoT since two years before.
"The Internet of Things is like a new kind of language. It will enable everything to 'talk' with us through the Internet, which in turn will spur innovation and generate new business models," Zhou said.
Yang Yuanqing, chief executive of Lenovo Group, said: "A smart future will demand smart connections. The Internet will move toward creating smart technologies that boost the IoT, like connecting hardware devices with users, data and services."
Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu Inc, said the search giant is already making significant progress in the IoT sector with its self-driving vehicle. "Automobiles are the ultimate mobile devices that will help link consumers to other things," Zhang said, adding the company plans to put its self-driving car on the road within three years.
Liu Qiangdong, CEO of e-commerce site JD.com, said in the future no products can be termed commodities unless they are linked to the Internet.
China has attached great importance to the research and development of the IoT. Experts have predicted that if it succeeds, the new technology will generate a new market worth several trillion yuan.
A man tries out a virtual reality device at the Light of the Internet Expo in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, Dec 14, 2015. [Photo by Wang Chengmeng/chinadaily.com.cn]
Virtual reality or virtual realities (VR) replicates an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch and smell.
At the Light of the Internet Expo held in Wuzhen, many companies showed off their application of virtual reality.
Nokia exhibited a virtual reality camera that can catch audio and video in full 360 degrees. Audience can watch a sports game with a 360-degree view.
Retail giant Suning installed a virtual fitting room. It enables shoppers to try on clothes to check one or more of size, fit or style, but virtually rather than physically.
Accuracy in big data may lead to more confident decision making. [Photo/IC]
Big data often refers to the use of predictive analytics or other certain advanced methods to extract value from data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. Accuracy in big data may lead to more confident decision making.
At several forums held during the conference, the term was highlighted by officials and business leaders.
Jin Liqun, president-designate of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said that big data can help AIIB staff analyze member country's infrastructure requirements in an accurate and scientific way.
Wu Xiaoling, vice-chairperson of Financial and Economic Affairs Committee in NPC, said that the utilization of big data has been treated as national strategy by many countries and effectively using big data can facilitate financial service costs.
A visitor speaks to Baidu's robot Xiaodu at the 2015 Baidu World Conference in Beijing, Sept 8, 2015. Xiaodu, an artificial intelligent robot developed by Baidu, has access to the company's search engine database and can respond to voice commands, says Baidu. [Photo/Agencies]
Usually what heavyweight market players such as Baidu are betting on represents the trend of China's Internet landscape.
Therefore there was little surprise whey many believe the study of artificial intelligence (AI), or the intelligence exhibited by machines or software, is a field people can look up to in the next couple of years when Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li said the company is investing big on it.
Baidu, China's major search engine provider, has applied AI technology to vehicles. Li said self-driving cars will be quite common on the roads in three to five years.
The stand of an online finance company at an expo in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Transactions involving P2P platforms doubled to 250 billion yuan in 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
The P2P (peer-to-peer) online lending platforms is already an important part of Internet finance in China and the industry was also one of the topics mostly discussed at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen.
Internet-based instant lending and borrowing between strangers is called P2P lending. And the websites enabling such transactions are called P2P platforms.
Industry leaders and thinkers said the business saw extraordinary development in China because of the sad fact that for too long, the nation's small businesses have been under-serviced financially, if not ignored, by a few State-owned, inefficient banking giants. The emergence of the P2P platforms simply filled the gap.
P2P lending platforms differ from others, in that they lend money to unrelated individuals, or peers, without using a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank. As a result there are still few laws and regulations applicable to the industry.
A shortcoming is that creditors usually don't have control over the platform operators, and therefore their rights are not duly protected.
Industry leaders and thinkers believe how to build a stable and reliable risk control system to screen out qualified enterprises with repayment ability and willingness is the greatest challenge for the P2P market in China.
A visitor tries out a touch blackboard with 5G technology at a recent industry expo in Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]
China telecom's 5G technology showed its important role in Baidu's self-driven vehicles, Volvo's smart cars and Nokia's virtual reality shooting platform at the Light of the Internet Expo, an innovation gala for Internet fans during the Second World Internet Conference.
5G technology, known as an upgraded version of current 4G technology, is expected to roll out within five years. It can enable people to download a full-length movie or 100 songs within one second.
China is already a driving force in several international efforts such as 5G technology development, said Zhao Houlin, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, in an interview with China Daily.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said the country has started exploratory work on 5G technologies and is planning commercial tests soon.