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Trail-blazing businessman in IoT inspires industry with new standards

By Wang Jing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-15 18:12

A girl is trying the VR technology at the 2018 World IoT Exposition in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu province, Sept 15,2018. [Photo/VCG]

There are not many people who can claim that their actions have had an impact on the lives of millions, but Liu Haitao probably can.

"I have worked to make internet of things technologies a reality for nearly 20 years, and there's no reason I can't carry on for another 20," said Liu, founder of World Sensing Net Group, a major player in the field of IoT, based in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

Before becoming the successful businessman that he is today, Liu worked as a scientist at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he helped develop China's first moonlet - a small artificial satellite.

In 1999, Liu had a life-changing idea - he decided to connect a group of individual sensors to a single system, marking the start of his IoT career.

He created a microsystem information network and began working on China's first IoT research project.

Eventually, Liu made the move from Shanghai Institute, and set up his company in 2012, though it wasn't easy, even for someone who had worked his way up the ranks to become deputy director of the CAS institute in Shanghai.

The firm has been responsible for some of China's most impressive IoT achievements since its launch, including an IoT financial platform in 2016, which utilizes IoT technology to track movable assets that borrowers can use as collateral for loans.

Besides working on applications for IoT technologies, WSN has also carried out research into IoT theories and standards. The International IoT Reference Architecture - a standard with the filing name of ISO/IEC 30141 - established by Liu's team, was released at the end of August this year, demonstrating that China had mastered the highest "discourse power" of the IoT's top-level architecture standards, according to Liu.

He has been likened to Alibaba founder, Jack Ma - a comparison notably made by Li Qiang, the then Party chief of Jiangsu province in 2016. Li urged him to become theleading visionary of the IoT industry.

"If we have anything in common, it is that we are both passionate and had to face many skeptics when we started our businesses," Liu said.

With the support of Wuxi's preferential policies, the industry that Liu helped pioneer has developed rapidly in recent years. The city currently has more than 2,000 IoT companies, and by the end of 2016 the total output value of the industry was 200 billion yuan ($29.24 billion).

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