In Case You Missed It: All About The World Internet Conference (WIC)

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Here at 86insider, we aim to highlight key events in China so that you can keep your eyes peeled at what matters. In this edition, we deep dive into the WIC. This will be useful guide for you to keep up to date with the conference milestones and be prepped for the upcoming WIC in Q4 2020.

THE ORIGINS AND PAST KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF WIC

Photo credit: China Knowledge












Since its inception in 2014, the WIC also known as Wuzhen Summit is a renowned annual event organized by Cyberspace Administration of China and the Zhejiang government to discuss Internet issues and policy. The 2015 edition was attended by notable figures including co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, China’s President Xi Jinping and the prime ministers Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan.

The fourth annual conference was held in 2017 and Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai made their first appearances. Robert Kahn, known as one of the fathers of the Internet, addressed the opening ceremony. 

In the fifth annual conference, Xinhua’s world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) news anchor made its China debut at the event. According to Xinhua, “he” is able to learn from live broadcasting videos by himself, read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor, work 24 hours a day on its official website and social media platforms, reducing news production costs and improving efficiency.

HAPPENINGS AT 2019 SIXTH WIC

A visitor tries virtual skiing via a VR device (Photo credit: XinhuaNet)














Internet experts, tech entrepreneurs and investors gathered and talked about hot topics around 5G, AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and more. According to GSMA, by 2025, global 5G user base will hit 1.4 to 1.6 billion and China will account for one-third of them. John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, said that over the next decade, 5G will become an important engine to drive economy, through combination with AI and IoT.

Zhang Yong, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group stated that more than 700 million Chinese people have spent money online, bringing about 6 trillion yuan (US$860 billion) of transactions in China.

Robin Li, Founder of Baidu, stated that Baidu is doubling down on AI business as it is now the era of AI-driven smart economy. A smart economy is backed by technology innovation to bring about major changes in three aspects: the transformation of human-computer interaction, the tremendous changes to the IT infrastructure and the emergence of new business models.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is impressed with the new applications that Chinese entrepreneurs and software experts, along with partners from the rest of the world have jointly worked on. He suggested that China and Pakistan to collaborate as he see similarities in both countries’ budding technology industries. The partnership will encourage new ideas that would be very productive in the technology field and help to achieve complementary economic development.

It is worthwhile to note that US tech giants such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple did not attend 2019’s WIC. The regional presidents of US internet hardware makers Honeywell, Qualcomm, Intel, and Cisco Systems, as well as software and cloud services provider Microsoft were present and a number of smaller US firms were present in hopes of drumming up business.

15 NOTABLE WORLD’S LEADING SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Huawei launches Kunpeng 920 processor (Photo credit: CNBC)















A group of 39 experts from around the world in the fields of AI, 5G, Cloud Computing, Digital Manufacturing and Industrial Internet selected and unveiled fifteen world’s leading scientific and technological achievements in the Internet sector during the conference.

Out of the 15 companies, only four awarded were foreign companies – Tesla, Microsoft, Xilinx and SAP. Huawei and Megvii were both blacklisted by the US.

List of 15 companies (in alphabetical order of company’s name):

  1. Huawei’s Kunpeng 920 processor: The company claims that testing proves it is 25 per cent faster than its competitors, and that its energy use is 30 per cent more efficient.
  2. Baidu’s open-source deep learning platform Paddle Paddle
  3. Alibaba’s cloud database POLARDB
  4. Tencent’s WeCity Future City Solution
  5. Tesla’s full self-driving chip
  6. Microsoft’s machine reading comprehension
  7. SAP’s in-depth application of AI in intelligent enterprises
  8. Tsinghua University’s hybrid Tianjic architecture towards artificial general intelligence
  9. 360’s 0day Vulnerability Radar System
  10. Cambricon’s MLU 270 Chip
  11. Megvii Technology’s Brain++:  an open-source platform that enables developers to access the company’s AI and facial recognition technologies
  12. The Silicon Cube Immersion Liquid-Cooling Computer
  13. COMAC’s Intelligent Manufacturing System
  14. Xilinx’s Versal Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP)
  15. China Telecom’s IPv6

Side Note:

86Links’ Chairman, Mr. Dahong Niu, speaking at the World Internet Conference














86Links’ Chairman, Mr. Dahong Niu, also spoke at the World Internet Conference. He spoke at a panel discussion on “The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Cyberspace” with Co-Founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing Mr. Wei Cheng, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shaukat Aziz, and other distinguished guests.

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT?

The 7th WIC is scheduled to be held in Wuzhen Town, Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province in Q4 2020. You can visit www.wuzhenwic.org for more information.

Depending on your business needs in China, you might want to consider showcasing your latest technologies and products at WIC’s exhibitions and shows. WIC is afterall, an essential event, as it is one of the main platforms the Chinese government uses to promote its vision of the internet. If you are keen to have a face-to-face talk with the most brilliant minds with leading expertise, technology and managerial experience, you can sign up for their matchmaking event.