China is home to some of the most innovative companies and in previous years, Chinese companies have formed a substantial part of the over 4000 exhibitors that have always participated in the tech how. CES 2019 may see a drop in the number of Chinese companies attending the tech show.
According to the South China Morning Post, the attendance by Chinese merchants will reduce by up to 20%. The event which is reputed as the largest tech exhibition globally with up to 175,000 persons attending, will no doubt be affected by the present US-CHina trade dispute that started when the US imposed a higher tariff regime on some specific products from China. The two world’s largest economies are also at loggerheads with each other over leadership in a range of cutting-edge technologies and innovations, most prominent are 5G technology and artificial intelligence (AI).
Details provided by the organisers of the event, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in the CES exhibitor directory as of January 4, indicate that a total of 1,211 Chinese companies have registered to be part of the trade show for this year. This is 20% lower than the1,551 Chinese companies that attended last year. The number is also lower than the 1,751 US companies that have registered as at January 4. In a statement released on Sunday, CTA disclosed that the actual floor area taken up by Chinese exhibitors this year was roughly equal to 2018 due to slightly more space offered to bigger exhibitors and slightly less to smaller merchants. However, the reduction is a pointer to the effect the tumultuous US-China relation is having on an event which has jokingly been referred to as the Chinese Electronics Show in recent years. The event has often attracted big names such as Huawei Technologies and fleets of component suppliers who flock Las Vegas to show off their latest wares. Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group summed it up this way; “Chinese companies are concerned about tariffs from the trade war. Attending a show like CES is expensive, and with [US President] Trump’s rhetoric towards Chinese technology, companies in China are rethinking their strategy of investing in the US.”