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Beijing neighborhood attracts tech talent

Reporter: Yang Chengxi 丨 CCTV.com

05-31-2016 16:32 BJT

The Zhongguancun area of Beijing is what Silicon Valley is to the USA. The zone stands at the forefront of China's innovation scene and attracts entrepreneurs from across the country.

When the employees of this start-up show up for work, they don't need to swipe a card. But that doesn't mean they can be late. That's because the company uses a facial recognition system for employee check-ins. The company's proprietary technology has now been sold to several firms in the finance and security sectors.

"Our facial recognition technology can be applied to security camera systems. When your face is captured by the camera and shown on the monitor, you will be recognized by the system. This can help police track down fugitives," said Yang Fan, co-founder of Sense Time.

The core of that technology is artificial intelligence.  When the system meets a new face, it records the details and registers them in its vast database. The prospect for the technology has attracted a lot of top talent to the company.

"We have engineers who had been working overseas for Microsoft, Google and Facebook, and now they've returned and joined us. Because China is in a new wave of innovation," said Yang Fan.

Such trends are opening a world of opportunities for tech visionaries. There are also venture accelerators in China that aim to turn their visions into reality. Microsoft owns one such accelerator.

"We rank quite high among the world's top accelerators. We have cultivated 126 companies, and now their market capitalization has surpassed 38 billion yuan," said Luo Bin, CEO of Microsoft Ventures.

More and more people are joining Microsoft's accelerator programs. They want to be a part of the next world-changing tech firm, and China is the happening place for that.

"I think China has now surpassed the United States and has become the biggest market in the world. We can see it from the development of the mobile internet in the past few years," said Hu Yichuan, enterpreneur.

Zhongguancun's reputation has already gained the notice of many international businesses. More than 200 companies on the Fortune 500 list have launched operations in Zhongguancun in a bid to capitalize on the fast-growing sector.

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