Virtual reality and artificial intelligence products took center stage at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the platform where the world’s trends in scientific and technological innovations are put on display, with companies from China, which accounted for one third of the leading exhibitors at the event, visibly demonstrating their newfound stature.
Suning, China’s largest O2O (online to offline) ecommerce platform, showcased a comprehensive lineup of intelligent products from its zc.suning.com platform, including several smart home products and other novel solutions. Suning also hosted the “China Innovation North America Summit Forum”, giving 3C (computers, communications and consumer electronics) home appliance makers around the world a presentation on how to fast track their products into the Chinese market.
The organizer of the exhibition was extremely complimentary in his comments about Suning. In a chat with Suning’s exhibition team, Consumer Technology Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro said CES is a platform that connects all the participants in the world of high tech, while Suning is an important sales platform for innovative technological products and services, and, as a result of the role that Suning plays, he looks forward to seeing further cooperation between the two parties.
Executive vice president of IT at Suning Commerce Joshua Xiang explained: “With the success of its transition to e-commerce, Suning plans to introduce intelligence into the retail industry as a new driving force for the further development of online retail”. Xiang further disclosed that in order to apply intelligent technologies in the business area, a strong IT team is developing a chat robot, which enables human-machine interactions, and can communicate with consumers in a cordial, natural and anthropomorphic way. “By engaging the consumer in a pleasant chat, gradually, the sale can be closed.”
While most brands at the event exhibited their own latest research results and achievements in smart home products, Suning was able to leverage its prominent position as China’s largest retailer to help several manufacturers “break the ice” by facilitating conversations between different brands and products, through the application of artificial intelligence technologies. As further assistance to the manufacturers, the retailer also provides after-sale services as well as value-added services such as multi-screen audio and video, smart recipes, smart community and smart shopping mall.
In order to strengthen research in cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, Suning set up a research institute in Silicon Valley in 2013, and now has four such research institutes worldwide. These institutes have demonstrated their worth, providing data cloud services to more than 6,000 companies.