AmCham China's full-day Technology & Innovation Summit successfully combined online and offline elements to create a valuable platform for members to exchange cross-sector best practices and innovative solutions for the business application of disruptive technologies. Among the topics discussed were artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing, US-China tech decoupling, and more, with some closed door sessions in the afternoon exclusively for members providing some particularly lively discussion.

Following welcome remarks from AmCham China President Alan Beebe, Antony Cook, Regional Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel at Microsoft Asia, delivered the opening keynote speech, during which he shared some technology priorities for economic recovery and future growth. Cook mentioned that the pandemic has enabled digital transformation in every aspect of life and business – working from home, online classes, rising interests in telehealth, and more. However, for Microsoft, Cook said, “We tend to think how we can help and what is the role that technology should play in our responsibilities to the community,” citing an example of how the company is helping to protect the 150-year-old tea industry in Sri Lanka. Cook added that, in addition to technological innovation, Microsoft plans to bring digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of 2020 in order to counter a widening skills gap.

Michael Zhu (pictured above), President of HPE China, then introduced how his company is transforming itself in order to adapt and grow, all the while empowering an ecosystem of stakeholders, and making a positive impact to society. Zhu emphasized the need for companies to adapt their digital business models to survive and compete. Echoing some of Cook’s words, Zhu mentioned that the call for companies to take the lead in addressing societal challenges is getting louder. As such, adopting a true digital mindset and aiming to create broader stakeholder value are becoming increasingly important. He then elaborated on how HPE completed its own digital transformation, and how it has been able to support their customer’s transformations more effectively by offering HPE GreenLake, a flexible service offering which runs from edge to cloud. Zhu also cited a couple of examples on how HPE has been adapting its “In China, For China” strategy

In the morning’s third keynote speech, Jian Lu (pictured above), President of LinkedIn China, shared some of the newest trends in jobs and skills derived from LinkedIn’s data. One valuable insight was the fact that the most promising jobs are strongly correlated to digitalization and disruptive technologies. “What’s even more worth noticing is that technology skills will dominate the jobs of tomorrow, but human-centric skills will be even more valuable,” Jian said.

Jimmy Goodrich from the Semiconductor Industry Association then talked about how the semiconductor supply chain was faring despite bilateral tensions. After walking through the development of the semiconductor industry and China’s role in it, Goodrich shed some light on actions that policymakers can take to both preserve the supply chain and sustain innovation, such as tariff elimination, regulation about encryption, further promotion of innovation, and more.

During the first panel session (pictured above), speakers from Microsoft, PwC, Intel, and 36kr discussed 5G and digital infrastructure under the new normal. They shared opinions on international investment outlooks in this new sector, the cooperation of domestic companies with multinational firms, and how people’s lives may be affected.

In the second panel (pictured below), three outstanding health-tech startups from Johnson & Johnson JLABS @ Shanghai introduced some innovations they are working on in different medical fields, including the pharmaceutical AI ecosystem, helping new drug discoveries, mental health solutions, and a data platform that helps doctors to provide better surgical care to patients, all of which painted a clearer picture on how healthcare technology is shifting. Four entrepreneurs then discussed about the application of AI in healthcare, the impact of COVID-19, and how startups in the healthcare sector should react to today’s uncertainties.

In the member-only afternoon session, which was off the record, speakers exchanged ideas on some of the hottest tech topics including US-China tech decoupling, the impact of governance on the free flow of data, data center development, and how stakeholders can work together to build next generation businesses.

AmCham China would like to thank our Terabyte Sponsor HPE, Gigabyte Sponsor Johnson & Johnson, and Megabyte Sponsor Covington & Burling LLP for supporting this year’s Summit, together with our Digital Circle Partners Microsoft, Intel, PwC, Plug and Play, Merck, Honeywell and Mars. We also appreciate the efforts of 36Kr and Caixin Global as our Media Partner, and our Supporting Partners China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), Influence Matters, Networking Matters, IEEE, and Ladies Who Tech for their active engagement in the community.