Alibaba to deploy 1 million smart delivery vehicles


Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba, said it will strengthen the deployment of artificial intelligent (AI) technology in its courier network by putting 1 million smart logistics vehicles into the market to cope with exploding delivery volumes in the future – expected to reach 1 billion a day within a decade. The smart logistics vehicles, co-manufactured with other automobile companies including SAIC Motor Corp and Dongfeng Motor Corp, will optimise the delivery route for the couriers based on Cainiao's advanced big data and algorithms, Cainiao Network's president Wan Lin said at a logistics forum in Hangzhou on Monday. According to Cainiao, the new smart vehicles have been introduced in Shenzhen and Chengdu as part of a trial programme, where they reduced travel distance and air travel rates. The logistics industry could see savings of as much as 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) annually after all the vehicles are put in services within the next decade, the company estimates. Cainiao is pushing forward with its smart logistics initiative because a "consumption upgrade" in China will drive the evolution of new logistics systems which will require the entire logistics industry to optimise its efficiency to the fullest, according to Wan.

NavInfo, Tencent and GIC to invest in HERE; companies to develop location services for Chinese market


Eindhoven, Netherlands and Beijing and shenzhen, China and singapore - DECEMBER 27, 2016 - HERE, the Open Location Platform company, NavInfo Co., Ltd ("NavInfo"), a leading provider of digital maps and location services in China, and Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent"), a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, today announced their intention to form a strategic partnership to develop and offer best-in-class location services for the Chinese market. Aside from the planned strategic partnership, NavInfo, and Tencent, together with GIC, a leading global investment firm, also intend to jointly acquire a 10% stake in HERE, thereby further broadening the company's shareholder structure. The planned transaction would result in AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG reducing their indirect shareholding in HERE in equal measure. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals. The planned formation of a joint venture in China: HERE and NavInfo intend to form a 50/50 joint venture in China enabling location services for Chinese and global customers across a range of industries.

China rolls out surveillance system to identify people by their body shape and walk

The Independent - Tech

China has begun rolling out new surveillance software capable of recognising people simply by the way that they walk. The "gait recognition" technology, developed by Chinese artificial intelligence firm Watrix, is capable of identifying individuals from the shape and movement of their silhouette from up to 50 metres away, even if their face is hidden. The system is currently being used by police in Beijing and Shanghai and adds to the country's formidable surveillance network that includes an estimated 170 million CCTV cameras. The software can be used on footage from standard surveillance cameras, however it does not currently work in real-time. Instead, the footage is analysed once it is recorded, which takes approximately 10 minutes.

Apple and Nike brace for China's wrath after Huawei ban

The Japan Times

HONG KONG - U.S. companies counting on China for a major part of their growth have targets on their backs as Beijing and Washington ratchet up trade-war tensions. President Donald Trump's decision to blacklist Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese maker of smartphones, while also threatening bans on other Chinese technology companies, could open the door to retaliation against U.S. brands from hotels to sportswear to even Captain America. State media last week said China is "well armed to deliver counterpunches," without giving specific details. As companies await China's next move, there is uncertainty about what form retaliation might take. Companies might "just have to read the tea leaves on how their business operations are being treated," Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, said in an interview on Saturday.

How cheap labour drives China's AI ambitions


Some of the most critical work in advancing China's technology goals takes place in a former cement factory in the middle of the country's heartland, far from the aspiring Silicon Valleys of Beijing and Shenzhen. An idled concrete mixer still stands in the middle of the courtyard. Boxes of melamine dinnerware are stacked in a warehouse next door. Inside, Hou Xiameng runs a company that helps artificial intelligence make sense of the world. Two dozen young people go through photos and videos, labeling just about everything they see.