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Xi'an event puts 5G and AI under spotlight

Updated: Oct 28, 2019 By Hao Nan China Daily Print
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iFlytek is honored to take part in the third Global Programmers' Festival to have technological communication and exchanges with top scientists, researchers and corporate leaders from across the world, said Fu Minglei, general manager of the company's Shaanxi branch.

iFlytek is an artificial intelligence-focused tech giant based in Hefei, Anhui province.

The event also aims to further accelerate the construction of a Digital Silk Road, which will help promote iFlytek's business layout related to the Belt and Road Initiative in Xi'an, he added.

The annual event, held from Oct 24 to 25 this year, is a top gathering in the sector as it attracts the world's leading software companies, research institutes and venture capital institutions, and creates a multi-level communication channel for information technology professionals.

Experts share views at a 5G technology roundtable forum during the third Global Programmers' Festival in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. Photos Provided to China Daily

This year's event had a total of 16 activities, including a main forum, a 5G technology roundtable forum, an innovation forum on Internet Plus and digital economy, a carnival for programmers and an exhibition of scientific and technological innovations from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

A Xi'an declaration of the 5G industry and a three-year action plan for digital economy were released during the event.

"5G is a new engine for creating a new era of the digital economy, and also serves as a solid foundation for the development of Xi'an," said Zhong Hongjiang, Party secretary of the Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone.

The thriving of the digital economy and 5G technology is unstoppable, and Xi'an will pour more resources into emerging industries like AI, cloud computing and big data with a more active attitude, Zhong added.

Tan Jianrong, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said Xi'an, which is home to a large number of colleges and universities, should use its advantage in human resources, and develop a basic 5G research base and innovate representative products with the help of the city's software park.

During the event, 28 investment projects worth 14.7 billion yuan ($2.08 billion) were signed, covering sectors such as electronic information, AI, intelligent manufacturing and network security.

In 2018, the Internet Data Center said that there were about 18.5 million people in the world working as programmers, and 10 percent of them were in China.

"Along with the rapid development of Internet Plus, cloud computing and intelligent hardware, China has a stronger demand for programmers," Fu said.
"Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are major gathering places for programmers. They tend to be younger, as more than half of them are aged between 23 and 30, and have made large contributions to China's digital economy and GDP." About 80 percent of iFlytek's employees are programmers.

Their research results serve as the foundation of the company's core research and development platform, as well as corporate development.

Last year, the company extended its business presence to Shaanxi province by setting up a branch in Xi'an.

"The city's support for the development of the AI sector has given us huge confidence," Fu said.

In addition to the subsidiary, the company plans to establish a research institute and an innovation and entrepreneurship platform in Xi'an to carry out in-depth and extensive cooperation in fields of AI research, innovation and entrepreneurship. iFlytek will also help Xi'an build AI demonstration areas focusing on education, healthcare, government affairs, laws, and smart city development, while expanding cooperation with the city in automobile, robots, tourism and personnel training by leveraging its expertise in AI technologies.

"In the future, we hope to make Xi'an the core of our talent base and a pilot city of our latest AI technology applications," Fu said.

Xi'an, as the capital of 13 Chinese ancient dynasties, has witnessed remarkable achievements during the construction of an international metropolis for a new era, and also developed city spirit of generosity, inclusiveness, civilization and openness, said He Junli, general manager of the Xi'an branch of China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings.

The company is a unit of State-owned China Merchants Group and is dedicated to comprehensive urban development.

"As an important participant and promoter of China's BRI, CMG will move forward with Xi'an's progress of internationalization, and establish a strategic partnership with this starting point of the ancient Silk Road," He said.

Commenting on the theme of this year's event "Connecting the Digits, Coding the Future", a Shaanxi Hangwei Real Estate spokesperson said programmers are dedicated to changing people's lives and pushing the reform of the times with digits.

The Global Programmers' Festival aims to discover their stories and promote their spirit of "enthusiasm, perseverance and struggle" via programmer competitions, carnivals and awards ceremonies, the spokesperson added.

Hangwei Real Estate has launched an apartment project in the software park, a core area of the Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone.

The park enjoys a convenient geographical location and transport.

It is also home to many Fortune Global 500 companies and leading Chinese software companies. It thus has a strong demand for high-end apartments by related elites, the spokesperson said.


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