European countries bring products and opportunites to Chinese market
Zhang Huimin, Liu Chen, Wang Tianyu

The European countries were under spotlight during this year's China International Import Expo (CIIE).

17 out of 64 countries which took part in the expo are from Europe, sending a high-level delegation of senior government and business officials to Shanghai. French President Emmanuel Macron, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan, as well as ministers of EU member states visited this year's expo.

Among the top 10 countries and regions which cover the most exhibition areas in the expo, five of them are European countries including Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the four major economies of the EU and Switzerland, the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China.

The second CIIE concluded on Sunday with the accumulated intended purchase value reaching 71.13 billion U.S. dollars, up by 23 percent from last year, according to a statement made by the vice director of the CIIE bureau Sun Chenghai at the closing ceremony of the six-day event in Shanghai.

Now let's take a look at three European companies that CGTN caught up with at the CIIE.

Special coffee machine from France

White collar workers may be tired of repeatedly using a clunky machine to get the flavor they like in the tea room of their company, now their trouble may be solved by the Internet of Things (IoT) self-service coffee machine of Atos.

"The machine can recommend drinks according to past coffee preferences via facial recognition technology and big data when consumers come to buy the coffee again," Ken Schulz, head of marketing at Atos Cloud told CGTN.

Ken Schulz, head of marketing at Atos Cloud. /Atos Photo

Ken Schulz, head of marketing at Atos Cloud. /Atos Photo

"It can offer new recommendations based on the users' likes and dislikes and then customers are able to choose to pay by face scanning," said Schulz, adding that the personal information collected by the cloud computing will also be well protected via its bigdata technology.

He further explained that its big data technology has already served Wuhan Military World Games which just closed last month in Wuhan, the capital city of central China's Hubei province, and will continuously offer IT solutions for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the coming year.

According to Schulz, as China owns a large consumer market and a boosting e-commerce, the company has been looking forward to a large order through the second CIIE.

More than an aurora from Finland 

This year, the Finland Hall in the country pavilion at the second CIIE showed people there's more to the country than winter sports, the aurora borealis and Santa Claus, particularly its strength in technology and industrial innovation.

Genano, an air purifier producer from Finland, brought its latest patented electric air purification method, which purifies indoor air even of nanoscale impurities. The device can eliminate organic microbes, such as viruses, bacteria and mold.

Why did they choose to make the debut at the CIIE? Niklas Skogster, CEO of Genano, revealed the reason in an interview with CGTN last Thursday.

Niklas Skogster, CEO of Genano. /CGTN photo

Niklas Skogster, CEO of Genano. /CGTN photo

"We have done some progress here, but we want to do more," said Skogster. "So it is a cost effective way to get media coverage in professional events."

Genano signed up to attend the second CIIE early this year, as soon as they heard the registration was open, because in the past five years, China has been growing as one of the most important markets for them.

He said there are "quite many" people who expressed their interests in this product. They had a contract signed right after the interview with CGTN, and "there are a few to be signed after the exhibition."

Even though the product won't be available in the market until 2020, the new technology from Finland did impress Chinese people and show a different side of the "happiest country" in the world.

(Cover image: Italian exhibitors at the Italian pavillion in the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai, China on Novemeber 10, 2019. /VCG Photo)