Innovation is an indispensable driving force for maintaining corporate vibrancy. It is the primary power for development and provides strategic support for building a modernised economy. China Unicom persists in bringing quality smart living to its customers through innovation. In 2017, the Company actively advanced the construction of intelligent networks, as it stepped up with deployment in areas such as cloud computing, Big Data and Internet of Things while making proactive explorations in AI. The Company rolled out a diverse range of "Smart+" applications to foster a smart brand and facilitate smart living and smart industry development, in a bid to enhance customer services generally via multiple channels and realise innovation-driven development.
Enriching Smart Applications
As the development of innovative modern industry system in China sped up in 2017, newly emergent industries flourished, with new technologies, industries and business norms such as digital economy and sharing economy growing fast. China Unicom leverages on its basic telecommunication network and makes good use of edges in cloud computation, IoT, Big Data, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies, making strenuous efforts in expanding into smart living and smart industry. Rich and diverse "Smart+" applications were rolled out so that the public can enjoy more convenient and smarter living.
Supporting smart industries
China Unicom has promoted smart city upgrade and supported the "Internet+" industrial transformation focusing on public administration, education, medical care, tourism, manufacturing, environmental protection, agriculture and finance, etc. by leveraging its leading advantages in cloud computing, Big Data, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, with an aim to provide the general public with convenient living enabled by "Internet+". China Unicom has continued to build an innovative businesses system focused on enhancing innovation capability, strengthened the top-down design for industrial Internet innovative businesses and the coordination and allocation of resources and capabilities across the whole network, consolidated the support and service capabilities for innovative businesses and built separate system and mechanism for innovative businesses distinct from fundamental businesses, in order to facilitate rapid development of innovative businesses.
Smart Public Administration
China Unicom cooperates with over 20 provincial governments in relation to the provision of an electronic platform for public administration services in promotion of "Internet + Public Administration". It enables highly effective operation of administrative bodies, interoperability of data and better livelihood of the general public, facilitating the transformation of traditional administration management to smart management.
On 31 March 2017, China Unicom officially launched its electronic public administration product system and public administration cloud whitepaper. The product system covers informatisation infrastructure resources services, electronic public administration cloud, Big Data for public administration, intelligent applications for public administration and support services for informatisation operation, etc. It provides our government clients with end-to-end and integrated informatisation products and services across the entire life cycle.
China Unicom launched "All Class Access" and "3ikids" and other products for nursery, primary and secondary education by leveraging its integrated technological advantages in cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data and mobile Internet. With the nationwide "Three Accesses and Two Platforms" project, 68,000 primary and middle schools were connected with broadband, nearly 500,000 classes signed up for "All Class Access" and 120,600 kindergartens participated in the collaboration. In 2017, China Unicom focused on developing interactive learning cards in its expansion of "Internet + Smart School" business. We vigorously acquired mobile subscribers with "everyone-access" cards. K12 students and teachers using "everyone-access" cards reached nearly 5 million. We made significant contribution to the promotion of education fairness, facilitation of education reform, and the development of a society with education accessible to anyone, anywhere and anytime.
To practically fulfil the national requirements in relation to the development of smart tourism, China Unicom fully leverages the conducive effect of smart tourism informatisation platform development to the transformation and upgrade of tourism, and comprehensively enhances the development level of modern tourism services primarily through informatisation. The tourism Big Data platform of China Unicom has connected to the platform for industry monitoring and emergency command of China National Tourism Administration to provide key support for visitor traffic flow warning, traffic diversion and emergency command. At present, China Unicom has teamed up with more than 20 provincial tourism administrations or tourist destinations in connection with informatisation and Big Data, striving to contribute to total tourism development with the application of information technology.
Smart medical care
With wider application of new-generation information technology and the Internet, facing the new development of medical care and health industry, China Unicom has consolidated its resources to provide cloud technology and Big Data services. The medical cloud products of China Unicom are built on its solid cloud capabilities. They leverage two major medical bases and are focused on the two key segments of hospital informatisation and regional medical informatisation. The products aim to drive the "Internet + medical care" sharing model with cloud technology and enable highly effective operation of medical organisations, interoperability of data, ancillary support to medial research, service for individual health, facilitating the transformation to smart medical care from traditional medical care.
To respond positively to the call of the State for transformation and upgrade of industrial manufacturing, China Unicom has launched the "Internet + Manufacturing" service model with its technological expertise and network resources, targeting a number of pain points of the manufacturing sector in the nation, so as to develop vigorously smart manufacturing.
Smart environmental protection
China Unicom has built the "Smart River Chief" platform based on the characteristics of different regions and in accordance with the requirements of "the Opinion on Comprehensively Promoting the River Chief System". The platform serves as an integrated informatisation solution of the river chief system, providing technical support for the formulation of water resources management measures, prevention and remedial planning for water pollution, early warnings about water environment and health assessment of aquatic ecology. It realises the centralization of all data, the coordination of the whole society and intelligent businesses. "Smart River Chief" platform has been in operation in, among others, Zhejiang, Fujian, Anhui and Guangdong.
China Unicom has actively engaged in agriculture-related informatisation applications, such as the "Smart Party Establishment" in rural villages, ULAND agriculture IoT platform, agricultural drones, NB-IoT for agriculture, and "Unicom Work" innovative business platform, etc. It significantly improved agricultural production, rural livelihood and farmers’ living standards, effectively enhanced agricultural productivity, raised the level of modern agricultural management, allowing rural villages and the agriculture sector to enjoy the fruitful results yielded by the development of informatisation, thus speeding up the growth in modern agriculture with "Internet +"
China Unicom has actively sought external financial collaborations through Unicompay Company Limited to expand "Internet + Finance" services. In 2017, Unicompay Company Limited entered into strategic cooperation agreement with Suning Finance/Suning Bank, Star48 Culture & Media, Taiping E-commerce and Lakala, and completed the connection with the three major clearing and transfer organisations, i.e. China UnionPay, China Nets Union Clearing Corporation and Rural Credit Banks Funds Clearing Centre. The number of directly connected partner banks increased to 19, strengthening the capability of financing channels in a rapid manner. In addition, Unicompay Company Limited has cooperated with Unicom Finance and China Life Pension Company on supply chain finance, with ZhongAn Online Insurance on insurance business. Unicompay Company Limited has also launched a number of financial businesses/products to provide convenient financial services to its customers, such as interoperability of accounts, aggregated payments, WO Easy Financing, WO Easy Loan, WO Insurance, platform for Communist Party membership fee, credit card bill payment and cash top-up for public transport.
Merchants Union Consumer Finance Co., Ltd. continues to facilitate innovation of financial technology. It has established a "WO Credit Score" model, and selected and granted credit in advance to close to 100 million whitelist customers. Meanwhile, the "Wo Credit Score" has successfully been applied to post-paid services, such as cash instalment, handset purchase instalment and mobile tariff top-up, providing consumers with more convenient financial services. In 2017, Merchants Union Consumer Finance Co., Ltd. ranked the first among licensed consumer finance institutions in terms of the number of customers and growth in balance of loans, and its major business indicators ranked top in the industry.