Foreign journalists visit Beijing's high-end manufacturing enterprises

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Journalists take photos of engine exhibits during a visit to Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd. in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 26, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Journalists of 48 media organizations from more than 30 countries and regions joined a press tour in Beijing to visit the city's high-end manufacturing companies and its tech hub Zhongguancun on Thursday.

The press tour was organized by the press center for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the Information Office of Beijing Municipal People's Government. The more than 60 participating journalists represented media outlets including Agence France Presse (AFP) of France, Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan, Handelsblatt of Germany, and Dong-A Ilbo of South Korea.

The journalists were first invited to ride electric self-driving buses at Beiqi Foton Automobile Co. Used as shuttle buses in parks and scenic spots, the vehicles can run up to 250 kilometers on a single charge. The buses are equipped with four laser radars helping to sense road obstacles and cameras to identify traffic lights and lanes.

As an exemplary enterprise of Beijing's high-end manufacturing, Beiqi Foton produces a wide range of vehicles fueled by diesel, gasoline, hybrid power, electricity and hydrogen. The company has exported 560,000 commercial vehicles, most among Chinese commercial vehicle exporters in each of the last eight years.

According to Tian Juntao from Intelligent Connected Vehicle Research Institute of Beiqi Foton, the company has been on top of the industry trend of new-energy vehicles, and its energy-saving and new energy technologies are used in all vehicles models including trucks, coaches, and multi-functional vehicles. The new energy products also offer a "human-machine-electricity" integrated intelligent operation platform.

Later in the afternoon, the journalists visited the Zhongguancun Innovation Achievement Exhibition, where pioneering technologies and products researched and developed by Zhongguancun enterprises were on display. The visitors showed particular interests in the intelligent robots, 3D object recognition, and IoT AI chips, and many interacted extensively with the robots and took pictures.

Unisound, the only voice artificial intelligence enterprise in China with a full technology chain of sensing, recognition, interaction, supercomputing, and chip design, demonstrated a companion robot designed for children. It showed capabilities of scanning and reading textbooks, as well as storying telling, singing and playing games. Amazed by the product, Mork Khnet, a journalist from Cambodia, said she hopes to see more of such innovations to be introduced to her country.

According to Weng Qiwen, deputy director of the Zhongguancun Science Park Management Committee, the number of companies working on AI and related fields in Zhongguancun reached 1,084 in April, accounting for 26.5% of all such companies in the country. At present, the total revenue of high-tech industries such as AI and integrated circuits exceeds 4 trillion yuan, accounting for more than 70% of the total revenue of the Zhongguancun demonstration area. The achievements of scientific and technological innovation have promoted the economic prosperity of Zhongguancun. From January to May, high-tech enterprises above the designated size in the Zhongguancun Demonstration Zone achieved a total revenue of 2.2 trillion yuan, with a year-on-year growth rate of 12.9%.

In the evening, journalists were invited to Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center to watch the folk dance drama "Confucius" to experience Chinese traditional culture and learn about the origin of the Confucian culture.

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