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Firm aims to be robotics bellwether

Writer:   | Editor: Betty Ye  | From:  | Updated: 2018-05-30

Walking into the showroom of UBTECH Robotics Corp., visitors are immediately drawn to the sight of a dozen white humanoid robots standing in orderly rows. Called “Alpha,” these sleek robots are the star products of UBTECH, a world leading AI (artificial intelligence) and humanoid robotics company based in Shenzhen.

Founded in 2012, UBTECH is still a young company but has made it onto the list of the “Top 100 Unicorn Companies in China” with a valuation over US$5 billion, standing alongside big names such as Mindray and DJI.

Ren Jian, chief strategy officer of UBTECH, has shared his views on how the startup has managed to gain a foothold in the global market and become an international brand.

“After 40 years of reform and opening up, China has become the second-largest economy in the world. To me, it’s inevitable that China as such will give birth to a number of international brands,” said Ren.

He thinks that Shenzhen, being a tech hub with a unique geographic location, is full of vitality, which gives it an edge in nurturing a batch of world famous enterprises like Huawei and DJI.

Ren said that since UBTECH was established, the company has aimed at both overseas and domestic markets. Unlike many domestic firms, its overseas market was originally driven by European countries and North America, owing to the cost advantages and fewer obvious competitors in these countries.

“Two years ago, our product Jimu was selected by Apple Inc. and successfully entered their major flagship stores worldwide. This was a significant milestone for us,” said Ren, adding that its cooperation with brands such as Apple, Amazon and Disney has played an important role in enhancing UBTECH’s publicity around the globe.

“We definitely want to be the leader in consumer humanoid robots. In fact, we are standing on the shoulders of giants and taking advantage of their, and of course our own, technological advancements to provide the final products to consumers,” said Ren.

Talents are also vital to a company’s development, according to Ren. The company had only a few dozen employees at first, but now it has over 1,000. “We also have a team in Los Angeles, which I think is important for the company’s internationalization,” he said.