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Digital advances helping firms take the high road to success

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-19 08:34
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Government officials announce the launch of the Light of Internet Expo, the warm-up event of the 6th World Internet Conference, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Friday. [Provided to China Daily]

Business executives from home and abroad are pinning their hopes on industrial internet development and industry issues to be the key focus in the "targeted and forward-looking" discussions during the 2019 World Internet Conference.

The theme of this edition's conference covers not only technology hot spots such as artificial intelligence and 5G, but also deal with issues that concern all parties like data governance and industry digitalization, said Alvin Ng, Asia-Pacific vice-president and general manager of digital solutions at Johnson Controls, a smart building provider.

"The huge market has pushed many traditional industries like construction to transform and upgrade with digital solutions," Ng said. "We expect to take away inspirations on future development with the utilization of internet in smart buildings and cities."

Ng said the company is striving to create a smart future for all types of facilities and thereby boost the formation of the digital economy in China and the rest of the world. This can be achieved by helping customers put their building data to work through a cloud-based platform and assist buildings and facilities managers discover insights and find efficiency.

The WIC is an important occasion for foreign companies like LinkedIn to be deeply involved in China's economic and internet development, as well as an important occasion to hold dialogue with global industry leaders, said Lu Jian, China president of the United States-headquartered social networking site for careers.

"This has been the fifth consecutive year for LinkedIn to be part of the WIC," Lu said. "China is not only an important market for us but a key component of our global strategy. We aim to help enterprises connect with talents and assist global talents to enter China."

As a global internet company, LinkedIn will continue to strengthen its long-term commitment to China, as has been the case by a growing number of global counterparts, who are delving into the crucial market by participating actively in the gala and pouring in more investment.

"From rhetoric to reality, topics being discussed and debated during the WIC are increasingly extensive and profound. The event offers enterprises a glimpse of more opportunities and how global internet is facilitating high-quality development," he said.

Industrial internet is shaping up to be the focus for LinkedIn, which adopts the troves of big data to portray the "economic atlas" of the changing dynamics of labor market in China. Lu said LinkedIn will team up with Tsinghua University and launch a report tracking the digitalization trends of various industries, which is expected to serve as an indicator for the nation's and even the world's, economic development.

Global consultancy PwC will also unveil their latest researches during the fair and top executives will share their insights on startup companies as well as unicorn firms and tech-related investment and initial public offerings.

One topic of interest and importance is the so-called responsible AI, which refers to ethically sound and regulatory compliant AI. PwC forecast AI could infuse $15.7 trillion into the global economy by 2030 and virtually open up limitless potential to benefit the entire society.

Amid this promise, however, the rapid pace and significant scale of change resulting from ever smarter AI systems and increasingly pervasive human/machine interactions are also giving rise to markedly differing concerns among business leaders and consumers, said Wilson Chow, a leader on the technology, media and telecommunications of PwC.

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