Shanghai event shines spotlight on evolution of Chinese brands

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Visitors attend the launching ceremony of the 2024 China Brand Day events in Shanghai, east China, May 10, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

A special exhibition to mark the 8th China Brand Day kicked off in Shanghai on Friday.

The event showcases Chinese brands' latest achievements in technology and business model innovation. It is expected to pave the way for companies' business expansion both at home and abroad.

Spread over some 70,000 square meters, the five-day exhibition has attracted participation of nearly 1,000 companies. Many technologically advanced enterprises have made their exhibition debut this year.

Electric vertical takeoff and landing or eVTOL companies comprise a large part of the first-timers. They are helping China to develop the low-altitude aviation business. One of the participants is the local eVTOL company Vertaxi, which has put its latest M1 model on display.

According to Vertaxi's senior vice-president Liu Xingyu, the M1 eVTOL model, with a cruising speed of 200 kilometers per hour, can complete a three-hour road trip in 30 minutes. The model's battery, motor, electrical control system and carbon fibre composites are all domestically produced.

"As a revolutionary transportation product, eVTOLs are a representative of China's new quality productive forces. We will stick to self-reliant production, and research and development so that the overall supply chain will be upgraded and major breakthroughs can be made regarding the domestic substitution for key parts. This is a path that Chinese brands should take to realize high-quality development," said Liu.

A visitor walks past a BYD Yangwang U9 on exhibition during the 2024 China Brand Day events in Shanghai, east China, May 10, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

During a business matchmaking meeting held as part of the exhibition on Friday, Guo Yuehua, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said the province will soon roll out an action plan to develop the low-altitude aviation business. This frontier technology can be applied in various fields or scenarios like tourism, urban management and emergency management. The application can in turn facilitate the maturity of technologies, nurturing new products and even industries, he said.

For the first time, a special robot exhibition area has been added to the show this year. Shanghai-based Jaka Robotics has availed this opportunity to display its robots that can be used in various scenarios like technology museums, university laboratories and machine tools' loading and unloading in automobile production.

According to Jaka's executive vice-president Chang Li, robots cover the whole industrial chain of parts, complete machines, system integration, inspection and testing. The technologies, efficiency and quality in the robotics industry have pointed to the one major path that Chinese brands should take to become well known, she said.

Visitors look at a demonstration model of CRRC electrified highway and mine transportation system on exhibition during the 2024 China Brand Day events in Shanghai, east China, May 10, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

Apart from pioneering technologies, traditional brands are also taking part in the exhibition. They are demonstrating how they are revitalizing themselves with novel business models. Shanghai-based Qiaojiashan, a 115-year-old traditional Chinese pastry brand, is one of them.

In 2019, Qiaojiashan opened a cafe in central Shanghai to provide local snacks and special coffee infused with Chinese flavors. It followed up with two other cafes in the city, its general manager, Cao Fengying, said.

"The idea of the cafe is to attract younger consumers with coffee and retain them with Chinese pastry items, which have been passed on through many generations. Such a combination has been well received. The coffee shop can clock up to 40,000 yuan ($5,536) in sales revenue during peak days like the Spring Festival holiday," she said.

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