SHANGHAI, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai, one of the world's leading exhibition centers, announced the launch of an online exhibition platform Thursday to offset the impact of COVID-19.
A new company was jointly set up by the municipal government of Shanghai and China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Thursday for the operation of the platform.
World-renowned automobile brands, such as SAIC Motor, Geely, Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford, debuted on the platform with their new cars Thursday morning.
"We're actively embracing the future of the exhibition industry," said Zhou Minhao, chairman of the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai.
Though the epidemic has posed challenges to the economy and society, the crisis could be turned into an opportunity as long as it is handled properly, according to Alibaba CEO Zhang Yong.
"We hope the platform will help the exhibition industry enter a new stage," Zhang said.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba, will use its industry-leading 3D modeling, mixed reality, augmented reality and other technologies to create an immersive exhibition and trading experience for exhibitors.
Shanghai held 1,043 exhibitions last year, up 1.1 percent year on year, according to the municipal commission of commerce.