A gardener prepares flowers outside the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), where the 2nd China International Import Expo will be held (XINHUA)
With one week to go until the opening of the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE), the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), where the six-day event is set to take place, has been packed with smart robots, speeding boats, and air delivery drones, among other new gadgets and devices.
As a rising platform for countries and companies to showcase their latest innovation results and developments, the expo has seen a growing number of new high-tech products making their debuts in China.
According to Chen Wenxuan, who is in charge of the trade in services exhibition area, one of the seven main areas consisting of the 360,000-square-meter exhibition space, more exhibitors have shown a commitment to creating a better exhibition portfolio exclusively for the event, after learning about or personally benefiting from the positive feedback during the first one.
Forpheus, the world's first table tennis coach robot, for example, is making a comeback with its latest fifth generation upgrade at the expo, following last year's sensation. Developed by Japanese electronics company Omron, in an effort to improve its sensing technology, the latest version of the sports trainer is capable of reading the facial expressions of the player, and accurately calculating and predicting the trajectory of the ball.
Decathlon, the largest sports goods retailer globally, is introducing its world first inventory robot tailored for China's offline-online-combined retail scenario. By incorporating the technology of radio frequency identification, the robot will enable stores to analyze products of interest, while giving human staff more time and energy to interact and engage with customers.
Atos, a global leading player in digital transformation, is bringing a coffee machine that is believed to be able to offer an user the beverage he mostly drinks. The judgment is based on the internet of things, which can track all the consumption made by the user with facial recognition. A worldwide IT partner of the International Olympic Committee, the French company, which is participating in the expo for the first time this year, is also developing a facial recognition security system that will ensure the smooth and safe entry of around 300,000 people involved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"Some areas have the most expensive exhibits, some the most delicious, and ours should be the home to the smartest ones," said Chen.
Tian Ye, who is responsible for the equipment exhibition area, added that as more exhibitors are ready to take advantage of the expo's unique appeal by introducing more of their best and latest products, it is more likely for them to establish a connection, and ideally strike a deal with purchasers.
Launched in 2018, the CIIE is the world's first import-themed national-level exhibition.
Aside from an expansion in exhibition space, the number of countries, companies and organizations participating in the expo has also increased this year. More than 3,000 companies from over 150 countries and regions will attend this year's CIIE, together with another upward of 60 countries showcasing their cultures and products in a separate Country Exhibition area.