Nanjing promotes tech, cultural ties with Bay Area

Updated: Jun 14, 2019 By LIA ZHU in San Francisco China Daily Global Print
A view of Nanjing city in East China's Jiangsu province, file photo. [Photo/IC]

China's Nanjing is seeking more exchanges and cooperation opportunities with the San Francisco Bay Area through a series of events during "Nanjing Tech Week".

Organized by the Nanjing government, the event is aimed at showcasing "the contemporary spirit and urban appearance" of the city, deepening mutual understanding and enhancing friendship, Bao Yunhai, vice-president of the Nanjing International Cultural Exchange Association, said at a conference at Stanford University on Tuesday.

The Nanjing City Promotion Conference, employing the theme "exploring infinite possibilities of innovation", attracted local entrepreneurs and innovators as well as tech finance professionals.

"I think Nanjing is an amazing city. There's a tremendous educational foundation. It certainly is an area that international businesses have found to be very appealing," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder of Destination Wealth Management, a San Francisco Bay Area-based financial services firm.

He said the "catalyst"for the events is dialogue. "I think any time you have an opportunity for dialogue, particularly on a local level, in terms of the ability of working together, there's a natural synergy that occurs. It's fair to say that countries working together can be a positive way that companies can try to learn how to be better global competitors," Yoshikami said.

The dialogue on a local level is "bound to have a positive impact" and "spill upwards towards more national dialogues", he added.

Conference attendees also exchanged ideas at roundtable meetings.

Roy Jewell, president and CEO of Palma Ceia SmiDesign Inc, said he has been in the industry for more than 30 years, but he is concerned that the US is not investing in hardware as much as in software.

He said he traveled to many Chinese cities for business and found the foundries in Nanjing "very impressive". "What TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is doing is very advanced," he said.

"The fact that TSMC is in Nanjing is naturally motivating for us startups," said Ming Zhang, co-founder and CEO of Mountain View, California-based zGlue Inc, which focuses on addressing the affordability and quick development of chips.

Zhang's company has set up an office in Shanghai to expand business in the country. The demand of building up an industry network and learning about China's policies attracted him to the event, he said.

"As a Chinese American startup founder, I often find there's a lack of information about the market and related policies and regulations (in China)," said Zhang. "Such an event is very helpful for us to get first-hand information."

The Bay Area is part of Nanjing's efforts to promote itself as an "innovative city and beautiful ancient capital" to the world. Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu province, was called Jinling in ancient times and was a capital for six dynasties.

The city also put on an exhibition — "Light Integration" — at Union Square in San Francisco, to showcase its modern image and ancient legacy. It will run through Friday.

In the theme "One City and One River", the 650-year-old Ming City Wall and the Qinhuai River are depicted through a modern art installation fusing culture and technology.

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