On Tuesday, with much fanfare, the China International Import Expo will open its doors in Shanghai. A lot is expected of this second annual expo, given the success of the first one last year. So what gadgets and gizmos will create all of this year's buzz? Well, the answer will be known in just a week.
Organizers say the total exhibition area for this year's event has expanded to 360,000 square meters, 60,000 square meters larger than last year. And what's also new this year is that there will be an official launching center, where new products, technologies and services can make high-profile releases.
In the Sci-Tech Life Hall, over 30 new products will be making their debuts, and you'll also see new sections featuring augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.
Priced at over 200 million RMB, or 28.4 million U.S. dollars, AW 189, a helicopter of Italy's Leonardo will be the most expensive item at the inaugural CIIE, and according to CCTV, the aircraft has received over 500 million RMB worth of orders from China.
This time around, AW 189's sister models have also arrived at the CIIE, but when it comes to who tops the price rank, Ferretti's FSD 195 fast patrol vessel might take them on for a challenge. Lifestyle goods, of course, are always among the most popular exhibits, and this year, organizers have set up a special section for high-end consumer commodities, where big brands such as LVMH, L'Oreal, P&G, and Shiseido are all confirmed.
This year the expo will again be held in conjunction with the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum, the theme of which is "Opening-up and Innovation for Win-win Cooperation." This Forum includes the opening ceremony and five parallel sessions on topics like business environments, artificial intelligence, WTO reform and free trade, e-commerce, and China's 70 years of development.
And finally… fancy a ride with no driver? As another new program this year, a 20,000 square-meter area in the north of the exhibition center has been set aside for people to experience autonomous driving under 5G connectivity. Most invitations have been sent out in advance, but there are said to be 800 rides reserved for guests arriving on site every day as well. So make sure you visit early for a seat.