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Time now for Click.
This week, another chance to see our big Chinese adventure
from earlier this year, in which we danced,
we played and had a smashing good time.
Clear your mind.
Forget everything you've learned.
China has changed.
Welcome to a country like none other, one that for so long has
gone its own way, with its own ancient traditions,
but which is now ready.
Ready for anything.
China may be thousands of years old, but...
It kind of feels quite young.
There Is an energy here, an enthusiasm to welcome the world,
and also show the world what it's got.
And what it's got is not just factories churning out
other people's stuff.
The Chinese brands themselves are starting to break out.
"Made in China" is becoming "Designed in China."
Yet there are some parts of life here that you may
Its take on human rights, its control of the media,
its attempts to censor inconvenient information behind
that Great Firewall.
From Facebook and Twitter to the mighty Apple,
western brands are not given an easy ride here -
although it's not blanket censorship, and people can
and do circumvent it.
But that buffer from the Western invasion has allowed Chinese
innovation to flourish, and that's what we're
here to discover.
This is Click's Chinese story, part one.
Let's start with lunch, which on one day looked like this.
But on other days was consumed on the go, and brought to us
by an army of scooter-riding food angels like these.
Yep, today in Beijing we're ordering a delivery from a local
restaurant using WeChat, the social network of China.
It's a full-on, multipurpose tool.
Think of a mix between Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.
You can do business, you can have fun.
Yes, China is trying to go big on innovation.
It has over 1,600 accelerators, including the rather nice
looking Innovation Works, founded by former head
of Google China Kai-Fu Lee.
There's a wall here of the billion-dollar projects
they have backed including Meitu, which has been valued
at over $3 billion.
Yep, more than 270 million people use this
selfie-beautifying app every month.
And ,for this month only, this includes me.
But they don't just have accelerators in Beijing.
They have a whole startup street, called Innoway.
And it has many, many start-up cafes.
Above each cafe is an incubator, and above each of those,
working space for new companies, which is free for three months.
And it is here that I met Gansha Wu, whose own start-up, Uisee,
is being talked about as potentially revolutionising
the autonomous car industry.
In China, the situation is a little bit different.
When the government tries to push something, it typically
gets enough attention, enough resources, enough forces.
So in China, you know, you always see everyone goes
in the same direction.
It' good, it's bad.
But sometimes, at this point, everyone goes into this mass
entrepreneurship and innovation.
I think it helps.
But walking around Innoway, it doesn't really look like there's
that much take-up yet.
Still, if you are really successful, you don't just get your own street,
you get your own palace.
Welcome to DeepGlint.
It is led by Yong Zhao, a co-founder of Google Glass,
who today has invited me to take part in this colourful demo.
What is the purpose of the multi-coloured hula
hoops we're wearing?
It means we're watching everybody.
We're tracking you.
We put a ring on your body, and no matter where you
move, it follows you.
Therefore, they understand your trajectory and your behaviour.
DeepGlint specialises in 3D computer vision and deep learning,
and uses this to make sense of how people are moving around.
One of our important customers are banks.
They really want to understand people's behaviour in their space,
no matter whether you are a customer, or people
So if you're casual, you don't want to walk too fast,
like you're running.
That might mean something really bad is happening.
COMPUTERISED VOICE ISSUES INSTRUCTIONS.
She's upset with you.
You're stealing the cash.
Or there are some places where they don't want you to get in.
If I walk on to this mat, they are going to complain.
This is a sensitive area.
Or if you stay in this room for too long, it also complains.
So if I wanted to rob this bank I would have to do it very slowly,
but also get it done very quickly.
If, in the process, somebody was hurt and falling on the floor,
the camera will know.
Someone is falling down.
So I have also not got to injure anyone, while moving
slowly and quickly.
You cannot crawl.
You cannot do this!
He's really got this place covered.
I think I'll rob somewhere else.
And it's more than just behaviour that's being monitored here.
DeepGlint supplies facial recognition systems that can pick
out hundreds of faces at once, and even identify stolen cars,
not by their number plates, which may have been changed,
but by their markings, their stickers and their scratches.
Of course, it's not just in Beijing that you find innovation,
start-ups and incubators.
They're happening all over this vast country.
And Jen Copestake has been to central China,
to Chengdu, where something very strange is going on.
Yes, I've travelled to the heart of China's Sichuan Province,
to the provincial capital, Chengdu.
It's famous for its pandas and mahjong.
There's even electric tables in the countryside.
I'm playing mahjong - I think!
And it's now building a reputation for hi-tech, too.
The University for Engineering, Science and Technology
is one of the best in the country for robotics.
There are 35,000 students here, from all over China.
And many of them make robots, including these
Kitted out with high-definition cameras, they're designed to carry
out jobs from neighbourhood watch to monitoring bail conditions.
They can even keep track of prisoners in jail.
The theme of surveillance is strong here, as you might expect.
A team from the university has developed this police car prototype.
The 360-degree camera mounted on the car's roof can automatically
scan for faces within a 60-metre radius.
I tested it out by going for a run, and it did pick out my face.
It would be matched against a police database to see if I was a criminal
or suspect, and then send an alert to the car
if there is was a positive match.
The final version of the car should be able to pick people out at speeds
of up to 120 kilometres an hour.
But we have really come to Chengdu to play with this.
Oh, my goodness, it's actually really
The robot is designed to be as much like a human player as possible.
Its eyes are the HD cameras at the back of the court.
These computers send prediction data on where the shuttlecock will fall
back to the robot via Bluetooth.
Its hands are racquets.
The information received needs to be millimetre-accurate
for it to get shots back.
The robot starts in the central position.
Its brain has a map of the court, and it won't venture
outside the lines.
I think I can beat him, but he's...
So how did you get involved in this project?
Did you win the competition?
Yeah, of course!
No arguing there.
You don't have to drive far in China's cities
to hit this.
In fact, this is why you can't really drive far at all.
Not in less than an hour, anyway.
And that might explain why China is working fast to catch up
with the current talk of the town, autonomous cars.
Right now everyone owns a private car.
But down the road, it doesn't need to be this way.
The car can be shared among many people.
Only 5% of the time the car is driven, 95%
of the time it is parked.
So if you have autonomous cars, once they've dropped you off
they can drive off and go away?
It is easy.
Yes, when you think about it, there is a good argument for sharing
autonomous vehicles, and that argument is being made by Baidu,
China's largest search engine.
It's just announced a plan to develop a test area
for autonomous taxis and buses in the city of Wuhu over
the next five years.
This is Baidu's autonomous car.
It's a BMW, with all the standard features of any autonomous car.
You have super-accurate GPS there, lidar, or laser-accurate radar,
on the top and on all four sides, and round the front,
millimetre-wave radar, and a ton of cameras in the windscreen,
to watch out for obstacles and map the road.
And inside, possibly the most important feature of any
test autonomous car, an emergency red stop button.
But is driving in China any different to driving anywhere else
But is driving in China any different to driving anywhere else
in the world?
Well, to get a sense of the actual technology you'd need to navigate
in Beijing traffic, I was taken for a ride by that
famous Chinese company, Volvo.
Quite a bit of the technology that we will find in autonomous cars
already exists and is already in cars that you can buy today.
This one, for example, can keep a safe distance
from the car in front and it can keep in lane,
as long as it can see good lane markings either side of it.
Not that we have much opportunity to use those features here.
I wouldn't call it chaos, everyone did seem to know
what they were doing.
Everyone except me.
I don't even know how many lanes there are here.
We seem to be like...
If you're an autonomous car, you need to deal with this,
you need to deal with this chap.
You need to deal with the man that came past a few minutes ago
selling turtles to drivers.
So, a little way to go before we hit this sexy vision of the future.
Chinese video streaming company LeTV says it is developing
its own self-driving car.
Because in the future what else will we be doing in our autonomous
cars than watching its TV and movie service?
Certainly looks like it will cost a fortune and,
yes, that is a problem.
Autonomous cars are expensive to develop and will be filled
with expensive components.
But, interestingly, this car, developed by Uisee, a company
founded by our good friend Gansha Wu, is dispensing
with the very expensive lidar and inertial sensors
and using cheaper stereo cameras to help it see in a different way.
We have an interesting metaphor.
So, Google has pretty good eyesight based on all the sensors.
So it has an eyesight of 2.0.
So they don't need to be very smart.
Probably they have an IQ of 120.
But for us, we want to have an eyesight of 1.5,
with an IQ of 180.
We actually built a supercomputer in the car.
All of this traffic is contributing to another big problem
here - pollution.
In 1978 there were just 1.3 million vehicles on China's roads.
Today there are 279 million.
The smog is sometimes so bad it's breathtaking.
You can see the haze, kind of, over there,
but you will get a much better idea from the top of this building here.
Right, so now you can see it, can't you?
There's the Olympic tower, the Water Cube, and the Bird's
Nest Olympic Stadium.
There are mountains over there, trust me!
Not that you've got a chance of seeing them today.
It's up here that I'm meeting IBM's chairman in China, Liming Chen,
who has his eye on a cleaner future.
We normally use 1978 as a kind of benchmark.
That's the year China opened up, right?
If you look at the population in 1978, our population
was only 960 million.
Today we have 1.35 billion.
The net increase is almost 400 million.
So whenever you have a population increase then you have energy
consumption, no doubt about that.
Couple that massive growth in population, traffic and industry
with the fact that China's main fossil fuel is the one that
produces the most CO2, coal, and you can see why the horizon
is so grey.
Previous attempts to turn it blue again have involved
shutting down everything, factories and traffic,
in the whole Beijing area for four weeks in the run-up to the 2008
But IBM has developed a smarter way to manage pollution
and turn the horizon green.
This is the home of the Green Horizon Project,
a massive undertaking to predict where and how bad the pollution
will be ten days ahead.
Not only does Green Horizon help predict which areas will be hit
worst, it can predict the environmental and economic
effects of different pollution management strategies,
from shutting down certain factories to banning traffic
in different areas.
Now, an enormous amount of data is being analysed here,
coming from ground sensors, satellites, weather forecasts,
geographic information, traffic data and factory
Green Horizon is even learning how to read comments
and pictures on social media.
Social media can help us to quickly locate some
of the pollution events.
Leaking, or illegal emissions, so we can use social media data
to help the city manager to quickly find out those pollution sources.
This project is already active in several cities in China and it's
being piloted in New Delhi and Johannesburg too.
I've been gobsmacked at just how stunning Beijing is.
But it's going to take an awful lot of work to keep the air clear enough
for us all to appreciate it.
No such problems here - 1,500 kilometres to the south-west
of the capital in central China, in the mist covered
mountains of Zhangjiajie.
I've come to China's oldest national park,
which holds a very new secret.
Tucked away on the edge of this World Heritage Site,
someone's decided to build a bridge from the middle of nowhere
to the middle of nowhere.
Unlike me, they hope the thousands of visitors that will come here
won't be too scared to look down, 300 metres through the world's
highest glass walkway.
These are the final days of construction
for this three-year project.
More than 300 engineers have worked through all weather conditions
to build what's also the world's longest glass-bottomed bridge,
a breathtaking 430 metres, crossing Zhangjiajie's grand canyon.
And the bridge, you can see, it opens up to the sky.
Usually bridges are parallel and this one is like that,
so you feel the sky is coming into the bridge.
The walkway itself is just 60 centimetres thick,
so the challenge to keep everything stable has required
some fresh thinking.
70 glass balls are to be positioned on springs along the walkway.
They've been designed to move to counter any swaying.
These curvy railings will persuade up to 800 visitors
to keep changing direction, offsetting the resonance
caused by hundreds walking at a constant speed.
And then there are the water tanks.
TRANSLATION: We are going to put four water tanks in the bridge.
When the bridge vibrates the water inside these tanks will make waves.
We've calculated the size of the tanks so the frequency
of the water waves and the bridge's vibration are different.
So when the bridge vibrates the water tanks can help to stop it.
They are hoping to sway tourists to stay longer.
This amphitheatre will host fashion and light shows and next year you'll
be able to throw yourself off the edge and experience the world's
highest bungee jump.
At this altitude you can't afford for anything to go wrong.
And eight months ago it did.
Pictures showing how a cliff hugging glass walkway had smashed under
the feet of a tourist after he dropped a mug went viral.
The walkway was closed.
Our hosts were keen to show me just how safe I was.
Each panel of the walkway has three layers of toughened glass,
held together by glue.
Well, the president has given me a hammer and says that even if I can
get through all three layers of glass I won't fall through.
He also says I will be the toughest man in the world if I can
get through this lot.
So this is how they are going to assuage people's fears of
And it looks like you can see the top glass has
Do you know what?
I think this might be safe!
OK, guys, we get the point.
And so at last it was time to welcome the very first specially
invited tourists onto the glass.
It is an unnerving experience and it takes a little
while to get used to.
I've only just begun to be able to do that.
It's a remarkable feat and it's really something for the eyes.
This entire structure is incredibly impressive and I'm sure we'll get
very, very similar reactions when it's opened
to the public next month.
Dan Simmons, in Zhangjiajie.
And next week we'll rerun part two of our Chinese trip,
as we venture into the factories of Schengen.
But, for now, I'll leave you to enjoy the view.
As is so often the case across the UK, the heat builds
and the thunderstorms arrive, that is what is happening
at the moment.
Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far,
with 34 degrees recorded in Suffolk, the same too
across Graves End and Kent.