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The TECH86 Roundup (Mar.28 – Apr.10)

Every fortnight we compile a list of important news updates and events covering the Chinese FINTECH, MFGTECH, CLNTECH, AGRTECH and MEDTECH sectors.

FINTECH Roundup

PBOC Says Development of Central Bank Digital Currency Still on Track Despite COVID-19 Outbreak, Via Chinabankingnews.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) says that its work on a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is ongoing despite the impacts of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of 2020.

Bank Of Korea Begins Central Bank Digital Currency Rollout, Via Bitconist.

The Bank of Korea has done an about-turn on the importance of a CBDC. Despite its skeptical stance in early February, bank execs have now decided to adjust their plans for the issuance of a Korean CBDC. It will be following steps similar to those laid out by Japan and the United States.

The United Nations and Tencent Announce A Global Partnership, Via Tencent.

Tencent and the United Nations are partnering to reach out to millions of people across the globe and announced a global partnership for the organization’s 75th anniversary on March 30, 2020. Tencent will provide the #UN75 campaign with videoconferencing and digital dialogue tools to boost the online outreach and promotion of the initiative.

Ant Financial and ICBC Enter Cooperation on QR Code Compatibility, Via Chinabankingnews.

Fin­tech gi­ant Ant Fi­nan­cial and Chi­na’s biggest bank have of­fi­cially launched co­op­er­a­tion in the area of QR code com­pat­i­bil­ity. 

Demand for e-wallet usage rises among Vietnamese consumers, Via Krasia.

Urban consumers in Vietnam are increasingly using e-wallets to settle smaller payments.

Ant Bank (Hong Kong) Has Announced a Pilot Trial, Via mpaypass.

On March 31st, Ant Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, an affiliate of Ant Financial, announced a pilot trial conducted within the HKMA Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS). At this stage, the bank will only onboard family members and friends invited by the bank’s employees. On the same day, AirStar, the virtual bank which was jointly established by Xiaomi Group and AMTD Group, also joined the team of the pilot trial.

Virtual Bank: Airstar Bank Launches Pilot in Hong Kong, Via Fintechranking.

Airstar Bank Limited, a joint venture between Xiaomi and AMTD Group with licensed virtual bank in Hong Kong, has announced the launch of a pilot trial.

Tencent launches new payment product, raising competition against Ant Financial, Via Krasia.

Tencent started to develop virtual credit card service to compete with Ant Financial by launching a new function called Fenfu inside its WeChat app.

MFGTECH Roundup

5G unmanned delivery car put into use at Beijing Institute of Technology, Via Chinadaily.

A 5G unmanned delivery car was put into use at the Beijing Institute of Technology, which can measure the temperature of people entering the campus, recognize facial information, and also can conduct no-touch delivery.

Applying AI to city cleaning services: Inside China’s Startups, Via Krasia.

Zero Carbon System believes the streets of the future will be sweeped by AI-powered robots.

iRobot banks on internet solutions for momentum, Via Chinadaily.

iRobot Corp, the US-based robotic technology solutions provider, is beefing up its efforts in online sales in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

AGRTECH Roundup

While investment in China’s agrifood sector contracted in 2019, focus on digitization prevails, Via Krasia.

China’s developments in farm management tech, online grocery delivery, B2B procurement, and unmanned stores show a broader trend of modernization in the food economy.

Japan promotes intelligent agricultural fertilizer UAV and automatic transplanter, Via Xinhua.

According to Japanese media, Japan has made use of high technology to promote intelligent agriculture in the field of rice production. A farm has purchased UAVs for fertilizing farmland and rice transplanters equipped with global positioning system (GPS). Japan’s Ministry of agriculture believes that by introducing smart agriculture, on the one hand, labor time can be minimized by 50%, on the other hand, harvest can be increased by 10% to 20%.

MEDTECH Roundup

Tencent Open-sources Another AI-powered Tool to Help Conduct Preliminary Self-evaluation Regarding COVID-19 Infection, Via Tencent.

Tencent open-sourced a COVID-19 live updates module last Friday that has answered six billion pandemic-related queries in China over the past two months. Tencent will provide technology support to combat the pandemic and open-sources another AI-powered tool today to assist the global fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 self-triage assistant, which is now available on Github for developers around the world, enables preliminary self-evaluation regarding infection of the disease and provides tips on its prevention.

Tencent builds China’s first intelligent microscope for clinical use, Via CnTechPost.

China’s first clinically applied smart microscope was manufactured by Tencent AI Lab and obtained the registration certificate issued by NMPA, becoming the first intelligent microscope approved for clinical application in hospitals in China.

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