After a 76-day lockdown, Wuhan is on a path to normality, and the rest of China is following suit, slowly lifting restrictions and reopening its economy.
Since the beginning of the year, the country has battled coronavirus, and though there’s no doubting the impact the virus has had on its people and millions of companies, China managed to adapt in these trying times, revolutionising the way it does business, offering consumers new products and services.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the emerging technologies we can take from China.
5G thermal imaging
Pioneers of 5G technology, China began using its cellular bandwidth to thermally image its citizens at transport hubs and shopping malls as early as January.
Combined with facial recognition technology, these high-precision measures alert staff to abnormal temperatures and improve efficiency with an accuracy rate of over 90%, reducing virus transmission.
Now the economy is restarting, the tech ensures only those with symptoms have to quarantine.
Chinese healthcare companies switched to AR glasses and teleconferencing to connect to patients and provide emergency care.
Rather than risking home or hospital visits, patients could receive a professional medical diagnosis from their beds and have their medications delivered or available to collect from local pharmacies.
These consultations have extended to industries such as law, counselling, and recruitment to keep essential services running.
Smart urban logistics
Ecommerce giants like JD.com in China and Amazon in the West have been exploring ways to deliver parcels and packages to consumers without human contact, and the coronavirus offered a great opportunity to put prototypes into practice.
From intelligent sorting robots that can identify QR codes on postage forms and find destinations, to delivery robots and drones that reduce the risk of cross-infection, these machines help distribute food and supplies to those most vulnerable.
Closer to home, they’re now being trialled in Milton Keynes, England.
One of the biggest challenges governments and companies have faced during the crisis is the spread of fake news and misinformation – not least Donald Trump’s suggestion that the way to cure coronavirus is to inject disinfectant.
In China, cybersecurity firms have worked closely with government bodies and emergency services to prevent the spread of fake news, stop malicious links and phishing emails from reaching consumers, and doubling-down on the security of government servers.
Your business, too, should be investing in cybersecurity to ensure no personal information enters into the wrong hands, damaging your reputation.
The Chinese government set up distance learning channels for different age groups on TV and online, with Q&As and parent-friendly versions to help with homeschooling.
According to one report, Chinese elearning leaders earned $3 billion in the first month of lockdown, and billions more to follow as consumers subscribe to learning resources to better themselves.
With no end-date in sight for the government-imposed restrictions in the UK, now is the time to invest in your own e-learning courses and ensure you’re offering the best user experience.
More than 60% of Chinese companies were telecommuting amid coronavirus lockdown, and it’s a similar picture in the West.
Apps like WeChat Work, DingTalk and Zoom proved popular and online searches for ‘telecommuting’ surged 6.25 times over the outbreak, as companies tried to find ways to minimise work disruption.
Many predict working from home will become the norm for companies in the coming years as heads realise the benefits of remote teams.
Some are already cancelling leases on offices and asking staff to telework permanently.
Virtual reality viewings
One industry that was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic was the property industry, but VR property viewing has played a significant role in sustaining the sector.
Consumers were able to choose properties they’d like to view from websites and virtually view them from the comfort of their homes, as VR technology is now widely available and highly-affordable.
In China, online travel agency (OTA) platforms attracted customers by preselling holidays and experiences for future dates, offering a year-long window for packages to be redeemed.
And it worked: recent reports show that 20,000 people visited Huangshan on the day of its reopening, and major players are predicting a boom in domestic tourism for the rest of the year as consumers fear travelling overseas during the pandemic.
OTAs also launched a COVID-19 real-time reporting function to give consumers confidence that the places they were visiting were safe, and invested in content on hot topics to generate clicks and sales.
Looking to take inspiration from China and adapt your business model during the COVID-19 crisis? Click here to get in touch with the team at Zudu and we’ll do our best to help you.
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