CES Asia 2019 took place amidst turbulent times between Trump’s United States and Xi Jinping’s China at the height of an ongoing trade war. Tariffs have hit consumers and producers in both countries greatly, with no foreseeable end in sight.

8K televisions might be at the forefront of TV technology – but what about 8K 3D TVs? Image: Ian Ling

Held in Las Vegas, CES, an annual trade show organised by the US-based Consumer Trade Association (CTA), had expanded operations with CES Asia. Held in Shanghai, China annually since its inception in 2015, it had always been at the forefront of technological exchange between the US and Asia.

“We do not support tariffs”, the president and CEO of the CTA Gary Shapiro stated, when asked about his thoughts on the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.

CES Asia, instead, had seen a dramatic increase in the number of American companies participating. And this can all be attributed to the fact that CES Asia serves more as a platform for technology companies in the whole of Asia, not just China.

In-car displays have expanded greatly in the past few years. Image: Ian Ling

This was reflected in the increasing number of regional companies participating – Singapore-based WHYRE one of them, showcasing their Argon Helmet AVS system with dual cameras for unparalleled situational awareness while on a motorbike.

This year, there were more than 8,000 participating organisations, up from 4,000 just five years ago. There had also been a marked increase in the participation of start-ups, with a whole hall dedicated them out of the six full halls at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre – the largest show floor for the event to date.

Attendees check out an indoor vegetable growing system at the show floor. Image: Ian Ling

German carmaker Audi showcased its AI:ME concept car at the show, developed entirely indigenously in China. With ever-rising tariffs, China has gone on to develop an entire category of luxury cars where it was once dominated by American imports from the likes of Cadillac and Ford. While several American car manufacturers were represented on the show floor,

Chinese carmaker Aiways shows off its all-electric concept car, the U7 Ion at CES Asia 2019 – sharing many similarities with the Audi AI:ME concept. Image: Ian Ling

With the burgeoning market for technology in fashion and travel & tourism domains, along with the rise of smart city solutions, CES Asia looks at a bigger picture than many other trade shows do. This had included everything from facial recognition systems that allow for improved security, to indoor smart growing technologies that maximise arable space in land-scarce cities, and to even AI-powered service robots that reduce the strain on labour-scarce cities with dwindling birth rates.

Like in previous years, CES Asia showed off AI capabilities in a variety of mediums. Image: Ian Ling

Free, open exchange between China and US would be able to leverage on some of the most successful start-ups in Silicon Valley alongside the brightest and most industrious enterprises in Shenzhen – and then, who knows what’s next?

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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