New retail landscape gives China startups a boost amid pandemic

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Photo from: Pixabay

By: Nikkei Asian Review

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development and adoption of technology that aid online sales, giving a boost to Chinese startups in fields such as contactless payments and video monitoring.

While Japan, the U.S. and some countries in Europe are still fighting the pandemic, China, from where the outbreak originated, has resumed economic activities. Yet, the previous way of life may no longer be sustainable amid fears of a return of the disease.

Some startups are responding to such changes by hastening their development plans.

Shanghai Ulucu Electronic Technology, founded in 2009, is a pioneer in the field of video monitoring systems designed for retailers in China. While the number of visitors to stores has sharply decreased due to lockdowns in the country, Ulucu said its systems that employ artificial intelligence will come in useful as social distancing becomes the new normal.

Around 450,000 shops in China have adopted Ulucu’s systems that revealed the number of customers to those stores dropped to less than 10% in February but has rebounded to more than 70%, according to Shen.

The contactless payments sector is also benefiting from an increase in online shopping and social distancing. Beijing Inspiry Technology, founded in 2002, has captured 70% of the Chinese market for Quick Response or QR code readers for mobile payments at restaurants and other shops.

 

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