Oct 16, 2018 04:38 PM

Tuesday Tech Briefing: Facial Recognition, Datang Telecom, Huawei

1. Shanghai Airport First to Launch Automated Clearance System Using Facial Recognition

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport has introduced China’s first unassisted clearance system for passengers using facial recognition.

Officials say the three-year project saw eight self-serve security machines installed at Terminal One. The machines scan passenger ID cards and make use of facial recognition technology to complete the security check process in about 12 seconds.

Shanghai’s system came ahead of a similar planned deployment in Beijing’s new US$12 billion airport, which is designed to handle up to 100 million passengers a year at full capacity. (SCMP)

2. Former Datang Telecom Chief Linked to Bribery Case

Zhen Caiji, the former chairman of state-owned Datang Telecom Group and a former executive vice president of China Telecom, accepted at least 650,000 yuan ($94,024) of bribes to help a private company pocket more than 90 million yuan of illegal gains, a recently released court verdict says.

Zhen, 58, was placed under investigation by the Communist Party’s graft buster in July last year. The party expelled Zhen for discipline violations in September 2017 and handed his case over to the judiciary department for criminal investigation. (Caixin)

3. China Making Strides in Smart Manufacturing Sector

China’s smart manufacturing market is expected to exceed 220 billion yuan ($32 billion) by 2020, according to a new report.

The country has seen a 18.4% year-on-year growth in the domestic smart manufacturing systematic solution sector, and the market hit 106 billion yuan in 2016, the latest China annual intelligent smart manufacturing development report said.

China has been the world's largest industrial robot market for five consecutive years. In 2017, China produced over 130,000 industrial robots with a 68.1% year-on-year increase, accounting for one third of the global market. (China Daily)

4. Baidu Takes Stake in NetEase Music

Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc. has invested an undisclosed sum in NetEase Music, ramping up efforts to gain a larger share of the growing-yet-competitive industry.

NetEase Music, a unit of gaming giant NetEase Inc., announced Friday that it secured new funding from backers including Baidu, Boyu Capital, and New York’s General Atlantic Service Co. LLC, but didn’t disclose financial terms. Its last funding round in April 2017 valued the music unit at 8 billion yuan ($1.16 billion).

The investment in NetEase marks Baidu’s ambitious comeback in the industry, currently dominated by Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which earlier this month filed to raise up to $1 billion in a New York IPO. (Caixin)

5. Huawei to Unveil ‘AI-Powered’ Phone in Battle for Global Market Share

China's largest smartphone maker Huawei Technologies is set to unveil its latest high-end smartphones, which it says are equipped with AI technology.

The Shenzhen-based company said that the Huawei Mate 20 series comes with its Kirin 980 chip built in-house and designed for AI computing tasks and is scheduled to launch in London Tuesday.

Huawei has been rolling out high end handsets under its P and Mate series in an effort to compete with Samsung and Apple. The company outstripped Apple in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year, coming in second place after Samsung. (SCMP)

6. Microsoft Surface PCs Get China Debut

Microsoft Corp unveiled its most powerful Surface PC series in China Monday with a color option tailored for locals.

The company unveiled the "Blush", or grayish pink option, for its new Surface Laptop 2 exclusive to China, designed to attract more female users.

Data from market research company Gartner Inc. shows that China’s PC shipments grew 0.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, faster than the global average of 0.1 percent, indicating a gradual shift back to expansion. (China Daily)

Compiled by Isabelle Li

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