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Guangzhou aims high as innovative player
When the G20 leaders met in China’s Hangzhou on September 4th last year, they were presented with an evening gala on the city’s majestic West Lake.

Updated:1497599549Source:The Daily Telegraph

When the G20 leaders met in China’s Hangzhou on September 4th last year, they were presented with an evening gala on the city’s majestic West Lake. Among the performances, an elegant white concert piano was played by Wu Muye, a budding international pianist. The melody, with the moonlight and lake as its backdrop, created a magical atmosphere.

The piano, Kayserburg, is a Chinese brand owned by Pearl River Piano Group, the world’s largest piano maker based in China’s southern city of Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province.

Amid intense competition though, the company has stayed vigorous through continued innovation since its foundation in 1956, Yang Weihua, spokesperson of the company, said. Now it has taken up over 25% of market share in piano sales globally. In May last year, it bought 90% of shares of Schimmel, Germany’s largest piano maker, in a bid to enter the world’s high end piano market.

The company is among many traditional ones that have survived severe market competitions in Guangzhou. Its successful story shares similarities with that of Guangzhou. With great importance attached to innovation, the city once put in the spotlight in the past still remains competitive in modern times.

For more than 2000 years, Guangzhou has been the trade center of southern China. Its prominent status in trade has earned itself the reputation of “Millennia Business City”. Since China implemented the reform and opening up policy in 1978, Guangzhou has been right at the front of opening up to the world.

Guangzhou has been the third largest city in China over the past 30 years, following Shanghai and Beijing. In 2016, the city’s GDP reached about 2 trillion yuan (294.4 billion USD), equivalent to that of Singapore and neighboring Hong Kong. As the capital city of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou is at the core of the Pearl River Delta, one of the most dynamic economic areas in the world.

Manufacturing of automobile, petrochemical and electronics is instrumental in strengthening Guangzhou’s industry. However, the growth of these industries slows as competition grows. In recent years, Guangzhou has been encouraging enterprises to have technology upgrading in traditional industry, when smart manufacturing and the use of robotics to replace labors have been emphasized. In automobile manufacturing industry, the number of robots for welding and spraying used by auto makers like Dongfeng Nissan, Guangqi Toyoto and Guangqi Honda has all exceeded 400.

“The spraying procedure used to be done by workers, bringing not only threats to their health, but also problems such as high deficiency, high costs of repairing and low efficiency,” said Pan Yongliang, head of department of resin coating management of Guangqi Honda.

“By using automatic production line, spraying efficiency has been improved by 70 percent. Besides, the production system has improved and hazardous air such as VOC is greatly reduced,” he continued.

According to Industry and Information Technology Commission of Guangzhou Municipality, besides automobile manufacturing, robotics and smart devices are being widely used in more than ten industries such as petro-chemical industry, electronics and furniture manufacturing etc. By the end of 2016, about 600 enterprises in Guangzhou have used automatic production line.

While industrial technologies are upgraded, emerging industries are encouraged in Guangzhou, in an effort to diversify the industry structure of the city and provide new growth engines.

The National Technology Park of Sun Yat-sen University, one of the city’s most important incubators, has witnessed the birth of the first 24-inch desktop glasses-less 3D display with full resolution in the world.

When the machine was officially unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, it attracted a great deal of attention. Midstereo, the machine’s developer, from the incubator, has been focusing on developing naked-eye 3D technology for a decade and gained lots of breakthroughs.

“VR does not mean having to put on goggles. Our technology has shown that without any assisting equipment, we can experience VR with our naked-eyes,” said Fan Hang, CEO of the company, “3D display is the most promising display technology, but we are fortunate that our work is right at the front of the trend.”

Midstereo is nothing but a brilliant example of Guangzhou’s emerging industries. In the past two years, new momentum has been gained in developing the city along with the traditional industries.

Last year, Guangzhou attracted General Motors (GE) to build a biology park, with output value expected to reach 4 billion USD. An influx of China’s tech giants, such as Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi and Gome, has established branches in the city’s Pazhou Area, which is expected to be China’s largest internet industry zone.

According to the latest plan of the Guangzhou’s Municipal Government, the city is promoting its attractiveness, creativity, and competitiveness by carrying out what it calls “IAB plan”, the acronym for Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Bio-pharmaceutical industries. Hopefully, under the plan, industrial clusters that generate hundreds of billions of output value by pooling talents, technology and capital, will be formed in a way to help the city to reach 2.8 trillion yuan (412 billion USD) in GDP by 2020.

Editor:Joanna You
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