On September 29, AmCham China hosted the 2022 Technology and Innovation Summit at the Hilton Hotel in Beijing. The Summit provided a valuable platform for corporations to exchange cross-sector best practices and innovative solutions for the business application of disruptive technologies in a variety of industries and corporate functions, including manufacturing, automotives, energy, healthcare, financial services, marketing, retail, and more.
Given the rapidly changing international macroeconomic and political environment coupled with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Summit focused on trending topics in an effort to help members navigate through periods of uncertainty, ride the tide of opportunity presented by digital transformation, and focus on win-win scenarios for the business community in China.
AmCham China President Michael Hart welcomed guests to the Summit and introduced the four themes of the 2022 Summit: AI, energy, automotive, and healthcare. In his opening remarks, Hart observed that, “China is important for key technology development and will be for decades to come.”
Following Hart, Zhang Guanqjun, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), also spoke to guests. Zhang underlined the important role enterprise plays in China’s technology and innovation cooperation. Additionally, he expressed the willingness of MOST to work with AmCham China on a number of issues.
The first keynote speech was delivered by Scott Kennedy, Senior Advisor and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics at CSIS. Kennedy’s remarks focused on innovation in an area of strategic competition, noting that today’s challenges are far different than those faced during previous eras of US-China relations. He praised continued innovation in both the US and China, and expressed the hope it will continue, saying, “Innovators are all about taking risks. We need to feel comfortable to take risks, which is by far the biggest challenge.” Kennedy also echoed Vice Minister Zhang’s calls for increased people-to-people exchanges.
The Summit’s second keynote welcomed Merck China President and Merck EVP of Electronics Allan Gabor. Gabor’s speech revolved around the theme “Advancing future technologies: Convergence and collaboration enable tomorrow’s possibilities, today”. Gabor underlined collaboration as a winning strategy, saying, “The convergence of vastly different technology fields empowered by collaboration across geographies has enabled extraordinary outcomes and possibilities.”
Jimmy Goodrich, Vice President of Global Policy, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) also gave a keynote speech, in which he discussed the CHIPS Act and its impact on global semiconductor supply chains. Calling semiconductors “the critical technology for today and tomorrow,” Goodrich said he remains optimistic in regards to the future of global semiconductor cooperation. He went on to observe that, “No one country will be able to dominate the industry. The US needs to collaborate with China and rebound the supply chain.”
The next keynote address was by Roan King, VP/GM of Marketing and Operations at GCR Microsoft. King spoke about accelerating digital transformation and the sustainable development of industry. He noted that sustainability has become an increasingly important global topic and highlighted Microsoft’s operations in sustainable development and carbon reduction.
The first panel discussion was moderated by Scott Kennedy with guests, Jian Lu, Corporate Vice President of LinkedIn and President LinkedIn China; Wenjie Gu, Chief China Representative for Zoom and Co-chair of AmCham China ICT Committee; and Jacob Cooke, Co-founder and CEO of WPIC Marketing + Technologies. The group discussed the future of AI and digital transformation in China.
The day’s second panel focused on the development of sustainable technology in the energy industry. Former AmCham China President Alan Beebe moderated the discussion with panelists Grace Chen, Senior Director Solution Consulting, Aspentech; Dong Liu, GA Director, Honeywell; Sufang Zhao, China General Manager for Low Carbon Solutions Business, ExxonMobil; and Renato Roldao, ICF China Managing Director and VP, Climate Change, ICF International Consulting.
The afternoon sessions began with a keynote from Jayne Leung, VP and Head of Greater China at Meta. In her remarks, Leung outlined Meta’s vision for the metaverse. She said realizing the full potential of the metaverse requires a grand ecosystem that cannot be completed by just one company, but one that requires entrepreneurs, policy makers, and more to work together to build the future in a responsible way.
The final keynote was delivered by Rachel Li, Partner at Zhong Lun law firm. Li focused on the area of data governance and compliance regulation in multinationals’ digital transformation. She observed data compliance has ushered in a new era of data security, and encouraged MNCs and stakeholders to actively respond to the relevant requirements, as well as participate in the legislative processes.
The third panel was moderated by Maria Hou, Partner at Zhong Lun law firm. Hou was joined by panelists Li Wan, VP of Government Affairs, Audi China; Chengyin Yuan, General Manager and Director, National NEV Tech Innovation Center; and Peng Zhang, Automotive Industry Director, Microsoft China. The group unpacked recent innovations in the automotive industry and new energy vehicles, agreeing that both digitization and intelligence are playing a positive role in the industry. They also discussed some of the industry’s current challenges including the chip shortage and ongoing supply chain issues.
The last panel focused on digital technology and its impact on healthcare. Joanna Mao, Deputy Director at USITO, moderated the panel with Grace Kwok, VP of Corporate Affairs, Intuitive Surgical-Fosun, Qiang Lv, Divisional VP at Abbott Laboratories, and Zhjijun He, Corporate Affairs Director at Merck China. Topics discussed included supply chain localization, robotic-assisted surveys, the increasing use of chips in healthcare, and the importance of localization to provide the highest caliber care possible.
To close out the Summit, President Michael Hart once again took the stage to deliver closing remarks. Hart thanked the generosity of the Summit’s sponsors and all the attendees for their support of the T&I Initiative and T&I Summit.
About the Technology and Innovation Summit
The Technology and Innovation Summit is an annual signature event launched in 2018 under AmCham China’s Technology and Innovation Initiative. This full-day conference is a valuable platform for corporations to exchange cross-sector best practices and innovative solutions for the application of disruptive technologies in varied industries and corporate functions.