Landing in Shanghai recently, I found myself in the middle of a tech revolution remarkable in its sweep. The passport scanner automatically addresses visitors in their native tongues. Digital payment apps have replaced cash. Outsiders trying to use paper money get blank stares from store clerks. Nearby in the city of Hangzhou a prototype hotel called FlyZoo uses facial recognition to open doors, no keys required.
As Beyond Meat (BYND) looks to continue its expansion into China, it announced a new partnership with Chinese multinational Alibaba (BABA) to make Beyond Meat products available at grocery stores. Beyond Meat's meatless burger patties will be available at Alibaba's 50 Freshippo supermarkets in Shanghai, with plans to expand to an additional 48 Freshippos in Beijing and Hangzhou. "We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we're pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry," Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement Tuesday. "Expanding into retail is the natural next step in building our market presence." Alibaba spoke about the partnership, hinting at plans to offer more Beyond Meat products soon.
HONG KONG – The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has pushed the Chinese medical community into overdrive, has also prompted the country's hospitals to more quickly adopt robots as medical assistants. Telepresence bots that allow remote video communication, patient health monitoring and safe delivery of medical goods are growing in number on hospital floors in urban China. They are now acting as safe go-betweens that help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Keenon Robotics Co., a Shanghai-based company, deployed 16 robots of a model nicknamed "Little Peanut" to a hospital in Hangzhou after a group of Wuhan travelers to Singapore were held in quarantine. Siasun Robot and Automation Co. donated seven medical robots and 14 catering robots to the Shenyang Red Cross to help hospitals combat the virus on Wednesday, according to a media release on the company's website.
Earlier this week, managers for the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark and Shanghai Dragons released statements on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, lambasting Saebyeolbe for his comments, vowing to boycott any events he was participating in. Those teams all compete with the Dynasty in the league's East Region, along with American-based franchises, the Los Angeles Valiant, Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior, which have temporarily relocated to Asia during the covid-19 pandemic.
Few would dispute that China's recent crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining has contributed to the recent plunge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptos. But while the argument rages about whether the volatility of cryptos is a sign of fundamental weakness or merely a bump along the road, the initiatives coming out of Beijing are being seen by experts as a sign of China's attempts to incubate its own fledgling e-currency and reboot the international financial system. The People's Bank of China aims to become the first major central bank to issue a central bank digital currency. While the PBOC's counterparts in the west have taken a more cautious approach, it has held trials in several major cities including Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The benefits of an e-currency are immense.