Chinese CES 2024 attendees double, reflecting tech cooperation momentum between two major tech powerhouses
Published: Jan 09, 2024 08:53 PM
A view of the west hall of  Las Vegas Convention Center in the US on January 8, 2024  Photo: VCG

A view of the west hall of Las Vegas Convention Center in the US on January 8, 2024 Photo: VCG

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world's largest consumer tech conference, officially kicked off in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Over 4,000 exhibitors from around the world are showcasing a variety of cutting-edge tech gadgets during the expo - which is dubbed as the barometer that sets the stage for trending technologies each year. This year, "artificial intelligence (AI) in everything" is dominating the headlines, with AI-powered personal computers (PC), AI chips, AI-driven smart vehicle systems and AI home appliances taking center stage.

Over 1,100 Chinese exhibitors are expected to join the four-day event in 2024, more than doubling from last year, according to data released by the CES' hosting organization the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). 

Industry insiders said that the increasing number of Chinese participants represents a strong pushback against Washington's reckless tech "decoupling" targeting China. It also highlights the momentum for tech cooperation between enterprises from the world's two major tech powerhouses amid an improvement in China-US relations. With Chinese tech companies expanding their international footprint and racing to the forefront of cutting-edge AI technology, the country is set to have a first-mover advantage in the next round of global tech race, observers noted. 

"Everyone is talking about AI, from chip-makers, vehicle builders, healthcare providers to home appliance manufactures. This is not surprising as we witnessed the AI frenzy last year. What is to be expected is how this transformative technology will lead us, maybe to new transformative applications," a representative from a Chongqing-based robotic company surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

AI becomes the buzzword

Prior to the opening of the 58th edition of the tech gala, an array of global tech behemoths released previews for on-display products, with many making big claims tied to AI innovation. 

US-based chipmaker Nvidia is expected to showcase several new GPUs at the event, including the RTX 4080 Super, the 4070 Ti Super, and the 4070 Super, with more gaming and generative AI performance.

The AI PC revolution is taking center stage. US semiconductor company AMD will reportedly debut what it claims to be the world's first desktop processor with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU), according to a report by Yahoo Finance. The NPU is designed to handle AI-based tasks on the desktop computer without having to send data to the cloud.

Chinese PC providers are also the center of attention. Lenovo said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday that it will unveil a full lineup of more than 40 new devices and solutions powered by AI at CES, including new AI PC innovations across sub-brands.

Lenovo said the company is "building an all vision AI strategy," from smart terminals, basic infrastructure to solution-driven approaches. "In contrast to general AI, AI PC will be able to personalize the computing experience, with real-time service response, low-cost AI big models and strengthened protection over personal data," the company explained. 

In addition to AI PC, market observers and tech fans are anticipating across-the-board AI applications with bated breath. 

Chinese TV-maker Hisense announced at a press conference on Monday that it will showcase a new line of ULED and ULED X TVs, some of which incorporate AI technology to further improve picture quality. TCL also reportedly plans to bring its television lineup, with the processor using AI to enhance both color and clarity. South Korea-based Samsung Electronics announced a number of consumer devices integrating advanced AI, including vacuum cleaners and refrigerators.

"This AI-led 4th Industrial Revolution is now on the doorstep for enterprises and consumers globally… this mainstream technology wave is unlike anything we have seen since the Internet in 1995," Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives wrote recently. 

Shen Yang, a professor at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that as a basic AI ecosystem has been established, there will be more "disruptive" innovations in the space this year amid profound changes in AI applications in chips, hardware, cloud computing and content creation. 

Observers said that China, though facing certain technological hurdles, has an overwhelming edge in claiming a leading position in the next round of global AI competition, advantaged by its manufacturing prowess, prodigious market demand that is experiencing explosive growth, as well as supportive government policies. 

More Chinese participants

Another highlight of CES 2024 is vehicles, as a list of Chinese and foreign attendees are displaying new electric models, flying cars and autonomous driving technologies. Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday that the firm will debut its latest flying car at the event, equipped with "forward-looking black technologies" such as foldable steering wheel, and an intelligent cockpit.

In addition, ByteDance and its subsidiary TikTok also registered for the event under their US offices. Alibaba has a presence through its subsidiary Singapore, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. 

According to CTA, a total of 1,114 Chinese companies, out of the total 4,314 exhibitors, are scheduled to participate in this year's CES, though certain Chinese tech giants such as Huawei are absent. The US is the best-represented country with 1,208 exhibitors, while China comes in second. 

Last year, only about 500 Chinese firms participated in the annual global tech event. 

Yang, who has been unable to participate in the show for the last three years due to COVID restrictions, said he values attending CES as it provides an opportunity for Chinese device-makers to "strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, which is crucial for improving our technological level."

Wang Peng, an associate research fellow from the Beijing Academy of Social Science, told the Global Times on Tuesday that although the US continues to target China's tech sector, the improvement in bilateral relations since late last year has created a good environment for Chinese tech firms to participate in the show. 

"On one hand, the absence of Chinese companies, who are a major force in driving global innovation, would significantly diminish the global influence of CES. On the other hand, there is a growing global desire to engage with Chinese markets, and Chinese firms need to capitalize on this and proactively expand international connections to counter the US-led tech decoupling scheme," Wang explained. 

The CTA expects to host approximately 130,000 people for CES 2024, compared to about 115,000 attendees last year and 45,000 in 2022, according to a report by tech website And about 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies will be in attendance.