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Revelations by News: A Dialogue with Chen Guoying

The second Digital China Summit was held from May 6 to 9 in Fuzhou, the capital city of the East Chinese province of Fujian. During the summit, Chen Guoying, Chairman of Guomai Group, was interviewed by Revelations by News, a television program from Fujian TV Station. In the show, he talked about the secrets to how Guomai has maintained a leading position while following the state’s developmental strategies.

At the recent event, which attracted lots of attention from people working in relevant industries, many prominent specialists and influential persons shared their thoughts on the developments and achievements stemming from the digital economy. In order to get more insights, Revelations by News interviewed Chen Guoying, unveiling how Guomai has managed to maintain its edge while following the trend of the country’s development.

World-leading V2X Technology

Journalist: Currently, how advanced is Guomai’s Vehicle to Everything (V2X) technology compared with companies around the world? What are you working on?

Chen: Guomai’s V2X technology is on the same level as many global automotive electronics giants, and in the domestic market, we are in the lead. Guomai’s V2X technology is now somewhere between self-driving and traditional driving. The way I see it, making self-driving technology universal requires a little bit more time than people might expect, but some features used in autonomous cars can be very helpful for ordinary people such as automatic parking and emergency brake. These features are commonly seen in driverless cars, but it’s a good idea to use them in conventional vehicles. In fact, we have started applying these functions to traditional cars, but drivers need to use V2X to control the car. In the future, the car will get so smart that it requires a car computer, which we are all researching and trying hard to make it happen.

Guomai’s Next Goal: In-home Aged Care

Journalist: What’s Guomai’s next goal of Internet of Things (IoT) application?

Chen: Our next goal is to provide in-home elderly care. We will boost the efficiency of elderly care using contactless sensingtechnology, biomedical sensing technology, data analysis techniques, and IoT technology. We are also working to combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) with aged care.

Journalist: What will the application be like? Can you be more specific?

Chen: Currently, over 90% of the elderly in China stays at home to spend their later years. But there is a disadvantage of home care, which is the very limited nursing capability. We want to improve their ability by applying IoT technology. Let me give you an example. Suppose there is an elder member of the family who usually goes out for a walk at 7:30 for half an hour. One day, he goes out for 40 minutes and doesn’t come back. Then the smart aged care system will trigger the alarm. In another scenario, when the elderly can’t fall asleep because they feel lonely, they can reach their children and have a chat through our IoT application. Lots of advanced technologies are shown in such cases.

Integration and Innovation of Interdisciplinary Subjects

Journalist: I know you have always been committed to integrating different technologies since you established Guomai, haven’t you?

Chen: Yes. In my opinion, a single technology is surely precious, but the integration of interdisciplinary subjects means more to me and I think it’s more innovative.

Journalist: Is this your own decision to integrate interdisciplinary subjects or is it a result caused by the time and the environment?

Chen: I think it’s a combination of both. For one thing, I happen to live in a golden era. For another, I have chosen a thriving industry from the very beginning. The telecommunications industry has been flourishing ever since China’s reform and opening-up, and I believe it will continue to prosper.

Development Aligned with National Strategy

Journalist: It seems that Guomai’s major development has always been in line with the country’s development strategy. Is this a coincidence or is the company doing this on purpose?

Chen: I think it’s the latter. It’s both an honor and our responsibility to follow the country’s development strategy, and it’s also very fortunate that we have the chance to do so.

Journalist: Why does the company feel the need to follow the national strategy?

Chen: Because a piece of technology won’t go far if it doesn’t follow the trend of the national strategy. This is particularly true of small and medium-sized companies.

Unique Business Model Aids Guomai’s R&D

Journalist: Guomai has been at the forefront of the market since its foundation. The company has led the way in developing IoT, V2X, and other innovations. So how does the company manage to stay in the leading position?

Chen: We have been lucky. In the past 20 years. We have established three research institutions: Guomai Research Institute, Guomai Post & Telecommunications Designing Institute, and Fuzhou Institute of Technology (FIT). We have created a unique business model that the country has never seen through industrial and strategic expansion via FIT. For instance, our company is in the telecommunications industry, and therefore FIT has a correspondent telecommunications department. For Flaircomm Microelectronics, a subsidiary of Guomai that specializes in V2X, FIT has an IoT department. For Guomai biotech, also one of Guomai’s subsidiaries which engage in computational biology, FIT has a computational biology department.

Journalist: How did you come up with such a business model?

Chen: If a company wants to develop sustainably, it has to transition from development-oriented growth to research-oriented growth. By research-oriented growth, I mean fundamental researches and applied researches, both of which can’t be done without the support of the university. But there has been an argument between the company and the college over who gets the patent and the intellectual property rights. Our company could not wait for change to happen, so we have decided to do things ourselves. We are quite successful in terms of our business model, the “engineers + lecturers + technical shareholders” model.  

Journalist: Have you realized the goal you set when you first started designing on the model?

Chen: Yes, I’ve basically achieved my goal, but we will still work hard in the future.