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Published: 10:25, December 07, 2023 | Updated: 10:25, December 07, 2023
Awardees: Visit to GBA enterprises eye-opening, meaningful
By Atlas Shao in Guangzhou
Published:10:25, December 07, 2023 Updated:10:25, December 07, 2023 By Atlas Shao in Guangzhou

Visitors check out XPeng Motors, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer on the Chinese mainland, on Dec 5, 2023. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Student reporters from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland — the new winners of the 2023 Campus News Awards — expressed their awe and appreciation of the mainland’s rapidly developing smart manufacturing industry during their visit to businesses in Guangdong province.

The two-day visit, organized by China Daily as part of the awards presentation ceremony of the Campus News Awards, included tours to prominent local companies such as Pony.ai, XPeng Motors, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.

The trip offered participants firsthand experience of the mainland’s rapidly developed smart manufacturing industry. On Monday, they visited Pony.ai, an autonomous-driving technology firm in Guangzhou, and experienced the self-driving system developed by the company, which was founded in 2016.

Wan Yu-feng, an adjunct professional expert from Tamkang University in Taiwan, described the trip as “impressive” and “promising”.

“I feel like we are stepping into the future, seeing the cities of the future, witnessing the roads to the future,” Wan said.

Visitors check out XPeng Motors, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer on the Chinese mainland, on Dec 5, 2023. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Li Xu, a student from the University of Macau, said that artificial intelligence technologies have been an important research field in many Macao institutions, but its application is still rarely accepted in the city.

“Visiting the enterprise is a good way to let Macao students know more about the new technologies in the mainland,” Li added.

The visitors’ impression of Chinese-mainland technological advancement was reinforced by their subsequent visit to XPeng Motors, a Guangzhou-based electric vehicle manufacturer founded in 2014.

“I have never seen a smart car with functions like automatic massage,” said Cin Wei-wei, a student from I-Shou University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. “Through this tour, we learned about advanced developments in different places.”

Sun Yang, a student from Beijing Foreign Studies University, said there is great potential for future demand for such technology. “An intelligent assistance system can free up the drivers’ hands, and benefit tired commuters.”

Visitors to Pony.ai experience the company-developed self-driving system on Dec 4, 2023. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

In addition to the emerging industries, traditional companies like the 94-year-old Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group also demonstrated their smart transformations. The company’s Jewellery and Cultural Center and the diamond processing factory in Shunde district, Foshan, welcomed students and guests on Tuesday.

Tsai Chang-yu, a senior majoring in mass communication at Tamkang University in northern Taiwan, was impressed by the plant’s automated operation lines. The highly intelligent robots not only conduct the production, but also manage logistics and sorting tasks in an organized and accurate manner.

He said the experience revealed the potential for automation to streamline repetitive labor and enhance efficiency.

He also found it interesting to witness the jewelry production, which is carried out by automatic machines, including hand engraving, machine polishing, and filigree inlays.

Visitors to Chow Tai Fook Jewellery explore the company’s diamond processing factory in Shunde district, Foshan, on Dec 5, 2023. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Tsai described the experience of the two-day visit as meaningful and interesting as it combined expert-led introductions with engaging activities.

The participants, many of whom saw jewelry made for the first time, were also invited to a workshop, where they polished a silver ring and experienced hands-on craftsmanship.

Bill Condon, one of the judges of the awards and a frequent visitor to Guangzhou, expressed his amazement at the development of the city’s developing Nansha district.

“I have attended the Campus News Ceremony for many years, and I think it’s getting better and better,” he added.

Jiang Jiaxuan and Lesley Liu contributed to the story. 

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