Elon Musk’s Tesla and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon are among only four foreign companies whose products and services are included in a “World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievements” list released by the state-sponsored Wuzhen Internet Conference on Wednesday.
Microsoft and Qualcomm are the other two foreign names, signalling that these four US technology companies have managed to maintain friendly business relationships despite an escalating China-US trade war.
The remaining 11 of the 15 firms with products on the list are all Chinese, including Tencent’s WeChat Mini app, Huawei’s Ascent 310 chip, Alibaba financial affiliate Ant Financial’s blockchain platform, Baidu’s driverless platform Apollo, Xiaomi’s AI platform for smart homes, and 360 Group’s security-distributed intelligence cybersecurity protection system.
Tesla was cited for its “smart service”. Although the American EV giant has experienced domestic difficulties this year – including a move by the SEC to sue Musk in the Southern District of New York for his abandoned attempt to take Tesla private – the company’s plan to build a factory in Shanghai has gone smoothly after landing a deal with the city’s government in July. Tesla has already started hiring for its Shanghai plant online.
Amazon’s machine learning platform SageMaker, developed by Amazon Web Services, was also recognised by Wuzhen. The world’s leading cloud service only started its operations in China in 2016. China’s domestic cloud service market is mainly dominated by local players such as Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud. To comply with China’s Cybersecurity Law, AWS had to partner with China-based data centres – Beijing’s Sinnet and NWCD Cloud Ningxia – to serve Chinese customers.
Meanwhile Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, a Linux-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Qualcomm‘s fully-integrated 5G NR Millimeter Wave and Sub-6 GHz RF Modules – modules for smartphones and other mobile devices that will pair with 5G modems – were also cited.
However, Google, which has been exploring a controversial plan to launch a censored search app in China, was not included in the list. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, showed up on a panel discussion at the Wuzhen Conference last year.
Chinese president Xi Jinping said in a letter to the Wuzhen Conference that the fates of nations are “increasingly intertwined” with the “profound technological revolution”, which is forcing China to speed up digitisation of its economic development.
Earlier this week, Xi pledged at the country’s first Import Expo held in Shanghai that China would continue to open China’s economy to the outside world, including lowering import tariffs and broadening market access, and voiced support for economic globalisation as the country is locked in a trade war with the US.
In his keynote address to the inaugural China International Import Expo, an event created by Beijing to signal its intentions to increase its business with the rest of the world, Xi said China’s promise to buy more products and services from abroad is “not a temporary arrangement but a long-term consideration” and that the fair would become an annual event.
Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post.
This article Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft and Qualcomm receive special mentions at Wuzhen World Internet Conference first appeared on South China Morning Post
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