Expats observe a wedding of culture and technology in Wuxi
To the casual transients, Wuxi in East China's Jiangsu province may impress with its stereotyped image: a cultural hub with an expanse of ancient streets, parks and towns. In actuality, the city is a helix of old and new.
From Oct 20 to 22, expats from seven countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia teamed up to unlock the city's blended and dynamic nature, attending the 2023 World Internet of Things Exposition and visiting its cultural sites.
The exposition was an introduction in efficiency, with highlights of the decades-long development of the city's IoT industry including vehicle-to-everything, adaptive sensors and smart manufacturing. They showcase Wuxi's capability to build a world-leading IoT industrial cluster whilst attracting investment and cooperation.
The experiment of letting a box-shaped autonomous minibus run on the road daily made it so reputable that people flocked to see a docked one like a pilgrimage. It visualized the city's core technologies and goals to better daily lives.
In addition to the eye-popping bus, the expo also encapsulated intelligent products and services from 522 firms, 33 of them Fortune Global 500 companies, facilitating the birth of 53 major projects. Roaming around the hall, you can hear them hum in chorus, unveiling industrial innovation and advancement.
"I can already see from the conference today that a lot of the technologies are just convenient and disruptive to our lives; so I think it will be interesting to see the balance of these amazing new technologies and how well they integrate into our lives in a comfortable way," said Bradley Johnson, a university teacher from the US after a ride on the driver-less shuttle to Gonghuwan Wetland Park.
Bradley Johnson, an educator from the US, learns about latest vehicle-to-everything technologies on Oct 21 at the IoT applications and products exhibition during the 2023 World Internet of Things Exposition. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
In the evening, the delegation rounded off the exploration with a riverside stroll in Qingming Bridge Historical and Cultural Block and learned the centuries old urban culture that lined the waterway of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.
Expats try templated printing in Donglin Academy, Wuxi on Oct 21. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Chrysanthemums dressed up Huishan Ancient Town in an early autumn vibe; the air was sweet with a unique mix of osmanthus and incense. Expats were dazzled in this aesthetics and cultural heritage swallowed by an ocean of tourists as they enjoyed the warmish Sunday.
Walking off the IoT innovations, local specialties, and ancient town, the international visitors felt that Wuxi's cultural hearts wedded to a technological soul, like a fairy tale.