Shenzhen, known as the tech capital of China, produces some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies and is one of the wealthiest cities in China because of its large-scale technology manufacturing sector.
The second-annual International Consumer Electronics Expo (ICEE) in South Africa, held at the Sandton Convention Centre last week, brought the top companies from Shenzhen to showcase their latest cutting-edge technologies to potential wholesale buyers. While the expo travels the world, South Africa is its only African stop. The ICEE also visits the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Thailand, Iran, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia.
The expo focused on six categories of tech: personal electronics; audio and video products; smart technology; IT and wireless services; electronic components and materials; and unmanned electronic vehicle products and technologies.
“Local buyers were able to meet manufacturers from China face-to-face,” says expo organiser Elva Wang, project manager at Hong Kong-based DFE International. “Translators and facilitators were on-site to ensure smooth negotiations and discussions between exhibitors and visitors. The quality of the products on display is of prime importance to the organisers, and exhibitors are carefully screened to ensure the ICEE offering is top-class.”
The ICEE SA show, not related to the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas every January, shows China’s drive to create connections and relationships with international entities to drive exports and to introduce foreign countries to the technologies created by Shenzhen companies.
“The world of tomorrow is all about connectedness,” says Craig Wing, engineer and partner at Future World International. “The expo is all about how technology is redefining the world today.”
Wing pointed out that Alibaba made $5-billion in sales in the first 15 minutes of the Single’s Day promotion in China on 11 November last year. With 90% of the sales being conducted on mobile phones, around 250 000 payments were processed a second on the day.
“This scale is unprecedented. If you go to any bank and ask if they can process 250 000 transactions per second, they can’t because their systems are built off legacy systems and their back-ends can’t support this. Technology has crept up on us and is changing our lives.”
It appears that, as South Africans are becoming more and more connected, the demand for consumer technology has grown to the point where wholesale buyers are reaping the benefits of local distribution of cutting-edge technology from Shenzhen.