China’s transport aircraft Y-20 completes next level of training

China’s largest domestically-developed transport aircraft Y-20 recently completed its first airborne jump and airdrop training together with airborne troops of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, said the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Ltd. on its official micro-blog page on June 11.

The PLA Air Force’s official micro-blog account had previously released similar news on May 8, and this post by AVIC is more like a confirmation. However, the photos released by the AVIC indicate that the aircraft has now conducted heavy equipment airdrop training, which was not concluded in the previous report.

Military experts say that heavy equipment airdrop tests are of great significance to the PLA airborne troops in improving their combat capability, since airborne troops are consistently a “trump card” in real battle.

The term “heavy equipment airdrop” refers to airdropping heavy weapons and equipment weighing over one ton. It’s essential for the remote maneuverability and fire assault capacity of modern airborne troops.

The Y-20 is able to airdrop an eight-plus-ton ZBD-03 airborne armored infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The aircraft is designed to carry multiple airborne combat vehicles and airdrop heavy-load equipment. However, further drills are needed to test such capability.

Chinese e-commerce indispensable to Russian consumers: Putin

Chinese e-commerce platforms have become an indispensable part of life to Russian consumers, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the China Media Group in a recent interview.

The Russian President spoke highly of China’s achievements in digital economy, saying he was impressed by the country’s internet of things and e-commerce.

AliExpress, an online retail service provided by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is currently the most popular e-shopping site in Russia. One in every six Russian residents has made at least one purchase on the site.

It is the largest e-commerce platform in Russia, and has even “forced” the development of local infrastructure such as logistics and payment.

The Russian government is now determined to develop its own digital economy after seeing the changes brought by e-commerce. For three consecutive years, chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma has been invited to important Russian forums. His viewpoints in digital economy, cross-border e-commerce and globalization of small enterprises have made a splash in Russian society.

Russia is currently ramping up attention to its own digital economy and deepening cooperation with Chinese enterprises like Alibaba. Last October, Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, said that the country will share Alibaba’s experience in digital economy and globalization, and will work to embrace more changes.

Chinese bridge awarded international medal

The glass-bottomed bridge of Zhangjiajie City, in central China’s Hunan Province, was awarded the Arthur G. Hayden Medal at the International Bridge Conference on June 12, Xinhua News reported.

Sponsors of the conference noted that the bridge provides a solution to connect culture and nature, and demonstrates both innovation and imagination.

The bridge is 430 meters long and 6 meters wide, with a glass-bottom walkway suspended 300 meters above the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon at Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. It offers people the incredible feeling of walking in the air.

Comprising of 99 panes of three-layer transparent glass, the bridge set many world records for design and construction.

Other Chinese bridges including the Wuhu second Yangtze River highway bridge, Beipanjiang Bridge and the Yachihe Bridge all gained awards at the conference, along with Chinese bridge designer Xu Gongyi.

More and more Chinese bridges have won global recognition in recent years, with growing innovative awareness and ability of Chinese bridge engineers, said Helena Russell, a judge at the event.

Since 2003, the medal has been awarded annually to demonstrate innovation in special use bridges such as pedestrian, people-mover and non-traditional structures.

Chinese enterprise to become a member in building MIT’s FinTech lab

Ant Financial, an affiliate of China’s Alibaba Group, has been named as one of the members in charge of building the FinTech lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), indicating that China’s block chain technology has been recognized by a world-renowned university, China News reported.

MIT recently announced that it would jointly launch the FinTech lab on July 18 with several top global tech companies, including Ant Financial, to deepen research in block chain development, privacy security, database and cryptosystem.

It’s not the first time that Ant Financial has been awarded global recognition.

In the 2017 Top 100 Global Enterprise’s Blockchain Patent Ranking, co-released by IPRdaily and patent database incoPat, block chain patents from China-based enterprises accounted for 49 percent, followed by those from U.S.-based enterprises. Ant Financial topped the chart of global internet companies in number of block chain patents.

Ant Financial’s strength in block chain technology can be evidenced by its technological breakthrough and wide application.

Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial disclosed that their innovative algorithm can now help to process more than 100,000 transactions per second and they can fully protect the information security on block chains through digital encryption.

In addition, the enterprise has widely applied its technology to people’s daily life.

For example, Alipay introduced the block chain technology to its public service platform starting in March 2017, so that all money donated via the platform could be traced.

Consumers who buy products on Alibaba’s Taobao can also obtain information on the place of origin, date of production and logistics by scanning the QR code based on Ant Financial’s block chain technology.

Xi’an building goes viral for misty wall of plants

Enveloped in mist like a fairy land, a building with a whole wall of green plants in Xi’an, west China’s Shaanxi province, attracted the attention of netizens recently.

The building soon went viral after a video clip was uploaded to a Chinese social media platform, showing the 10-storey building with an exterior staircase covered by a plethora of greenery.

Since the video went viral, it’s been determined that a total of 16,848 plant pots are on the wall, covering an area of 450 square meters, making it the largest vertical greening system in China. In addition, a fogging system is also installed for automatic irrigation.

Inspired by the Internet and the Internet of Things, the innovative design is a redefinition of urban landscaping, said the designing company Greengine Ecology.

According to the company, the fogging system can help reduce the surrounding dust and Particulate Matter 10, a kind of floating dust that can be inhaled by humans. In summer, it can also bring the temperature near the wall down by 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.

Yan Tao, the general manager of Greengine Ecology, explained that they have executed remote control of the fogging system and can monitor the growth of the plants from the office.

“The application of this system in urban landscaping can not only save about 70% of current human labor, but also improve the survival rate of the plants without using excessive water,” Yan said.

In pics: Sustainable concept in building venues of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Photo taken on June 12 shows the National Aquatics Center, otherwise known as the “Water Cube”, which will be transformed to host curling events at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022. Chinese experts have been working on key technical issues related to transforming the venue originally designed for water games into a stadium for winter sports, and have already upgraded the dehumidification, sound and lighting systems, as well as mechanical and electrical facilities, in order to reach the standard necessary for the curling event. After the Winter Games, the venue will be used as a site for ice sports, regular training and performances.

Photo taken on June 12 shows the planned location of the “Big Air” venue at Shougang Industry Park, which will hold snowboarding events in 2022. The former steel mill was originally closed down in 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics. After the Winter Games, Big Air will be used as the first permanent site of its kind globally, to host national and international Big Air competitions and train athletes.

Photo taken on June 12 shows the construction site of the National Speed Skating Gymnasium. As a newly-established venue for the Winter Games, the stadium will continue to host winter sports after 2022. It will be open to the public with the aim of motivating people in Beijing to practice winter sports.

Chinese enterprises invest $835 million on advertising for 2018 World Cup

Chinese enterprises have invested $835 million on advertising for this year’s Russia FIFA World Cup, according to statistics released by Zenith Group, a firm that provides top echelon services in market research information and data analysis.

This figure accounts for nearly 35 percent of total sponsorship deals signed for this year’s quadrennial football competition.

Zenith said that the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a grand event for Chinese brands, even though the Chinese team won’t be competing this year.

“China plays a significant role in our strategy to promote global development of football, and its participation is indispensable,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura. According to Samoura, in FIFA’s 2.0 strategy, it has proposed to increase participation in football to 60 percent of the global population by 2026. Therefore, FIFA must focus its attention on China, a country with 1.4 billion potential soccer fans.

The World Cup has always been the top money-making sports event. According to leading global information and measurement company Nielsen, about 55 percent of people are willing to buy products from World Cup sponsors, and 60 percent of them believe in the influence of these brands.

For Chinese enterprises, sponsoring the sporting event is like being given a giant key to the overseas market, that will gain them more access to global consumers. More and more Chinese brands have begun their promotion in the sporting field, and this high input can always be turned into profit.

Chinese male clothing brand DIKING is on the sponsors list for this year’s World Cup. It is the world’s first formal wear brand to sponsor the event. President of the company, Lyu Qi, said that sponsorship not only reflects the company’s strategy of overseas expansion, but also suggests that Chinese brands have comparable power to international first-class companies. The formal wear company plans to double its revenue within a year through the World Cup sponsorship.

Chinese property and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is now a top-tier partner. It signed a $150 million sponsorship deal in 2016, which will allow the company to enjoy all advertising and marketing rights of FIFA World Cup matches in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030.

China’s new multi-warhead ICBM among world’s most advanced missiles

China’s new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Dongfeng-41 is among the world’s most advanced missiles, military expert Shao Yongling recently told People’s Daily Online.

The photo circulating on the internet shows equipment suspected to be Dongfeng-41 

According to foreign media, officials from the U.S. Department of Defense revealed China’s launch of the Dongfeng -41 intercontinental missile on May 27. The Dongfeng-41 missile launched a number of warheads and hit targets of the Western China range.

Shao said that if the report is true, the Dongfeng-41 is now combat ready.

Currently, China has two major ICBMs, Dongfeng-5 and Dongfeng-31. Dongfeng-5 is a silo-based liquid-propellant missile, and it is able to accommodate multiple re-entry vehicles. Dongfeng-31 is a mobile launcher based missile that is propelled by solid fuel.

According to Shao, the Dongfeng-5 has a larger load and lethality, but responds more slowly because of its liquid-fuel system, and the Dongfeng-31 runs faster but has a lower lethality than the Dongfeng-5.

The new ICBM Dongfeng-41 combines the advantages of the above two missiles, and is able to perform strikes with more precision and efficiency.

Shao said that the independently-targeted multiple warheads can improve lethality and penetration of the missiles, and are able to attack multiple targets simultaneously.

Alibaba launches AI agricultural program that wants pigs to run 200km

“We want to sell a pig that has run 200 kilometers instead of one that weighs 200 kilograms,” said Hu Xiaoming, president of Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group on June 7.

At the Computing Conference 2018: Shanghai Summit on the same day, the company officially launched the ET Agricultural Brain, a program expected to achieve an in-depth fusion of artificial intelligence.

AI and agriculture

So far the ET Agricultural Brain has already been applied to pig breeding, as well as apple and melon farming.

“We hope that AI technology could help farmers and enterprises make safer, more nutritious and profitable products,” Hu noted.

Every pig will be tagged with their breed, age, weight, food intake, frequency of exercise and immunity since birth, so that the breeder will be freed from spending time writing these records by hand.

According to Su Zhipeng, a senior researcher with Tequ Group, one of the major cooperators of Alibaba Cloud, a pig will make different sounds when eating and sleeping compared to when it’s sick. The ET Agricultural Brain can judge whether a pig is sick by analyzing acoustic features and infrared thermometry.

The livestock farms are equipped with cameras to record the pigs’ stats and track the distance, time and frequency of their movements. Pigs that fail to meet the exercise standard will be sent out to burn some extra fat.

Wang Degen, CEO of Tequ Group, said the program will not only make contributions to targeted poverty alleviation and food safety, but also save energy and reduce emissions.

China’s pigs per sow per year (PSY), an important efficiency indicator for the industry, stood at 18 last year, but this figure is over 24 in European and more advanced countries, Wang said.

The agricultural brain will improve the PSY through technology, boosting China’s industry efficiency to be on a par with that of the most advanced pig farming countries.

Changzhou builds super luxury RV that will set you back 18.6 million yuan

A 16-meter super luxury recreational vehicle (RV) was recently built by Colani Design Institute (CDI) in Changzhou, eastern China’s Jiangsu province. The luxury mansion on wheels has 16 tires and has a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour and can seat eight to 10 passengers.

It took five years for the 300-staff research team from the CDI to complete the vehicle. According to the institute chief Luan Chengmin, all products and parts used on the vehicle are Chinese.

The luxury RV will be sold at a unit price of 18.6 million yuan ($2.9 million).

Behind the enormous driver’s cab are a bedroom, living room and dining room. They are all equipped with air-conditioning, water, electricity and communication systems. A full tank of gas can supply eight to 12 hours of electricity for the vehicle.

Luigi Colani, the designer of the RV, said that he hopes his design could contribute to the Made in China 2025 strategy.“Everything you can see in the RV, except the chassis and the power system, is designed by us, and most of it was made by us,” said Colani. The top industrial designer, who is dubbed a “contemporary Leonardo da Vinci”, added that all the materials and parts come from China.

Luan disclosed that the institute is still upgrading the RV, and more high-tech features will be added to it, including man to machine interaction, a 5G network and a more advanced entertainment system. He estimated that the vehicle will be marketed this October.