Economic review

Domestic, U.S. firms win big at tech awards

2017-12-04 10:59:00 (Beijing Time)         China Daily

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Winners and presenters of leading internet technology prize pose at a ceremony during the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province on Dec 3, 2017. (Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily)

Leading tech giants from China and the United States figured among the winners of top awards at the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.[Special Coverage]

It was the second year that the World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievement awards had been presented.

This year, Alibaba Group, Baidu, Huawei Technologies and Mobike Technology shared the honors with Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.

Technologies such as the internet of things or IoT, supercomputing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality featured prominently in the selections of the judges.

Few companies have had such a dramatic impact on the physical landscape of China and other cities around the world as Mobike Technology, with millions of consumers now renting its shared bicycles every day.

Wang Xiaofeng, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Beijing-based company, said he was sitting in his office with colleagues three years ago and wondered what the solution was to air pollution and traffic jams.

"We noticed also that the usage of bicycles had declined and wondered whether this could be reversed. We came up with a solution that combined smartphone technology with GPS tracking systems."

Mobike launched in Shanghai in April 2016. Now, it has 8 million bikes in 200 cities across the world.

Huawei Technologies won its award for its next-generation mobile communications 3GPP 5G pre-commercial system. It will launch a smartphone to support the technology in 2019 when its chip will be also launched.

"With the 5G technology, users will be able to download a 6-gigabyte file in less than two seconds," said Xu Zhijun, rotating CEO of the company.

Alibaba Group won the award for ET Brain, its next-generation cloud computing technology.

Zhang Yong, CEO of Alibaba, said developments in the internet field over the next 10 years could transform all sectors.

"They could be as significant as were the moon landings in a similar period of development," he said.

Baidu won its award for its new digital assistant DuerOS, which will take on Apple's Siri and other competitors.

Its digital assistant responds vocally to whatever question is asked of it, even on an emotional level.

Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, said at a news conference after the awards ceremony that people should not be concerned about artificial intelligence destroying jobs.

"Artificial intelligence is only a computer system. It does not have human consciousness or sense," he said.