Service industry to make use of internet sector developments
Liang Jianzhang, co-founder and chairman of online travel agency Ctrip. [Photo/IC]
For Liang Jianzhang, the co-founder and chairman of online travel agency Ctrip, discussing global internet connections in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province－a classic Chinese tourist spot－is kind of fun.
The sixth World Internet Conference will be held in this ancient and picturesque city, a typical river town south of the Yangtze River. It has been named as one of the Top-10 Charming Chinese Towns. Wuzhen is reputed as "the last riverine town in China" with a historic civilization stretching back 7,000 years while the town itself has a history dating back 1,300 years.
"My expectations for this year's WIC in Wuzhen will be the service globalization based on technological advancement, as well as global scientific innovative developments," Liang said.
"China's internet industry is ever-changing. I'm looking forward to seeing more eye-opening products and concepts at the conference," he said.
He noted that in past years, the internet has promoted the development of tangible e-commerce, enabling the circulation of goods with no barriers. With the help of the internet, people can now buy whatever they want anytime, anywhere.
"However, the role that the internet is playing in shaping e-commerce of service is equally impressive," he said.
According to Liang, the development of the internet is improving the service experience.
He pointed to Ctrip as an example of a company which has maintained its advantage in the domestic arena.
Thanks to the internet, the firm has partnered with many international enterprises to establish localized call centers. The company's experience in the online travel agency sector was introduced to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and a number of European countries.
"During the upcoming WIC, we are expecting discussions on how tourism services can be landed and circulated more smoothly in the world with the help of the internet. For example, a more comprehensive e-payment system and a more convenient inbound tourism service platform can be built," Liang said.
A recent research conducted by tourism marketing firm Sojern showed that in 2018, digital advertisement accounted for almost half of all travel advertisement, and the ratio is still rising.
Up to 60 percent of those surveyed said that data gives them a better understanding of how visitors behave on websites and apps; while 59 percent used data to learn how they win or lose customers during the purchase process.
"The development of the internet is completely changing the tourism industry," the report said.
During the WIC, Liang will also pay attention to the role that major global economies are playing in promoting business development and cultivating scientific innovations, especially in China and the United States.
He noted that China's current innovation capability is advancing by leaps and bounds. Many indicators show that China's innovation ability is very close to, or even stronger than that of the US. In the long run, China will surpass the US in technological competition.
"In this regard, I hope we can have more in-depth communication with guests at the conference."
Lee Der-Horng, an academician at the Academy of Engineering Singapore, director of the Global Institute of Intelligent Technology and the Institute of Transportation Brain of Pcitech, and vice-president of Pcitech, voiced agreement with that assessment.
"I'm excited to see the world's leading internet 'black technology', together with various intelligent interactive projects in this year's WIC."
"As far as I know, Wuzhen is already taking a lead in realizing full coverage of 5G commercial application and has added many intelligent experiences－more than 60 projects, such as long-distance driving unmanned vehicles, millimeter-wave human security detectors, and transparent screens, will be displayed during the conference."
"This is the future trend. We are able to foresee the future life in Wuzhen in advance," he said.
"WIC is one of the most influential events in the world information technology industry. Everyone should attend," said Cisco Global Innovation Officer Guy Diedrich.
China's internet industry is experiencing earth-shaking developments, and the country's demographic dividend is one main contributor.
"In the past few years, China's economy has entered a new stage, and consumer iterations have enabled new industries and services that are lean, high-quality and segmented to gain new opportunities through the internet. More opportunities are yet to come."