Participants attend China's fair for trade in services via virtual platform and apps
By Liu Hongcai

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing is being held both online and offline with a virtual exhibition platform and mobile app for exhibitors, making it easier for overseas participants.  

Just click the fields of your choice on the map, and a list of exhibitors will appear. You can see their virtual booth and get other information such as video links and product lists through virtual exhibition platform. 

However, the organizer said the platform isn't just for promotion.

"The China International Fair for Trade in Services features exhibitions, forums and business negotiations. It's a bit different from the Canton Fair and China International Import Expo. So, we have given equal importance to enable people who can't attend the fair to still be able to access to the forums and business negotiations," said Zhang Wei, deputy head of the Department of Publicity and Information, Beijing International Trade in Services Center.

With the help of Chinese technology giant, the platform, along with an app, enables exhibitors to hold online negotiations with buyers from around the world. It even provides real-time translation to overseas exhibitors and guests who attend online. 

Exhibitors can also match with potential customers with the help of big data and artificial intelligence (AI). The company says it expects hybrid exhibitions like this one to become more common in the future.

"Over the past few years, the exhibition industry has incorporated many technologies, including AI, VR, and 5G. With the stimulus of the pandemic, it's obvious to see that the industry has become more intelligent and digitalized. I think online and offline exhibitions will be combined in the future," said, Zhang Longpeng, general manager of the Commerce Platform of

In this year's trade in services fair, the platform has served over 18,000 people, including about 5,000 exhibitors participating online and off, and 190 online and offline forums and business negotiations will be held. The organizer says the platform will be committed to providing service trade information after the fair closes.