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Cooperative note at CES

By Zhang Ruinan in Las Vegas | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-01-10 15:57

Robots powered by artifi cial intelligence were generating a lot of buzz at CES 2018 in Las Vegas on Tuesday. iPal, a 3-foot-tall humanoid robot, is designed to look after children ages 3 to 8 for several hours unsupervised. It was created by Chinese robotics company Avatar Mind, which is based in Nanjing, Shenzhen, and Silicon Valley. JUDY ZHU / CHINA DAILY

Win-win prospects seen as China, US send most exhibitors to Las Vegas show

Close economic cooperation between China and the US was on display at CES 2018, which kicked off on Tuesday as about 1,600 American exhibitors and 1,500 from China took up more than two-thirds of the show.

"China and the US are the top two economies in the world, and our economic cooperation has enormous potential," Ren Faqiang, Chinese deputy consul general in San Francisco, said at the Chinese Night dinner in Las Vegas on Monday.

"Although in December the US national security strategy plan improperly labeled China an economic competitor, we believe that China-US economic cooperation brings win-win results to both nations."

Ren said this year's CES is a prime example of close cooperation between Chinese and American companies, adding that while China has opened its doors for many US companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Boeing, the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, PWC, KPMG and EY), the US also has welcomed many Chinese companies to develop their businesses in the US, such as Alibaba, Haier, JD and Suning.

"The cooperation creates lots of job opportunities for both nations, and also generates lots of tax revenue for the two governments to benefit their people," Ren added. "China and the US are the best trade partners, not competitors."

Many Chinese companies attending CES, including Baidu, Huawei and iFlytek, are establishing artificial intelligence (AI) laboratories and research partnerships in the US.

"We have many corporations with US companies, such as Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm. We also have research programs with Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton and MIT on artificial intelligence. In the future, we will cooperate with US automaker Ford on the human-machine interface," said Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek, China's Siri-like voice recognition service provider.

"We also established a developer platform in Silicon Valley, which has already attracted hundreds of US-based startups," Liu said.

"Huawei also collaborates with many US companies and schools in AI research," said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, which announced its new phone, the Mate 10, at CES on Tuesday. "Such engagement can enhance the US and Chinese innovation ecosystems to mutual benefit."

Chinese exhibitors like home-appliance makers Haier and Hisense also have moved their factories to the US, which has brought investment and jobs.

According to a report from the US Commerce Department last year, 97 million Chinese tourists traveled to the US in 2016, spending a total of $33 billion.

Alibaba, one of the show's largest exhibitors, showcased its Alipay payment service at CES, which helps US companies to reach many Chinse tourists coming to the US each year.

"Alipay is focusing on enabling merchants across the US, so we are focusing on going to independent merchants to accept Alipay as a form of payment," said Kevin Schulte, a marketing manager at Zoloz, a US company that collaborates with Ant Financial, the Alibaba spinoff that operates Alipay.

"In this way, we help Chinese tourists by using Alipay when they travel in the US to use a payment method that is familiar with them," said Schulte.

"Currently, we have over 200,000 enabled merchants throughout the US right now that can accept Alipay. By partnering with these US merchants, Alipay also helps them to grow because they can tap a group they normally cannot reach."

Judy Zhu contributed to this story.


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