Ping An Technology visits the US and attends Microsoft's Hackathon for first time

SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At the invitation of Microsoft, a representative group of employees from Ping An Technology recently traveled to the US to take part in Microsoft's Hackathon 2017, this year's edition of the annual event where engineers, top programmers and developers worldwide compete in terms of their hacking abilities. The employees demonstrated the achievements being made by Chinese companies in general when it comes to technological innovation, while having a chance to share ideas with the best among IT talents from around the globe.

Onsite Hackathon competition
Onsite Hackathon competition

As the world's largest hacking event, Hackathon 2017 attracted over 17,000 competitors from 84 countries. With the aim of further improving the event's visibility, Microsoft invited 5 external partners for the first time this year, including Ping An, which felt deeply honored to be the only Chinese company among the invitees. The employees from Ping An, winners of Ping An Technology's first micro innovation competition, formed a team with five employees from Microsoft who gathered together and brainstormed on some new and innovative ideas.

The "contestants" were very busy during the competition. At the beginning, team members were assigned different tasks and cooperated closely with each other on the front-end product definition, configuration of functionalities as well as development of the back-end image recognition model and database settings, developing an AI (artificial intelligence)-based nutrition assistant app within 48 hours. The app can automatically identify foods and display the number of calories and the nutritional ingredients after a user take a photo of the food, assisting the user in managing their diet and live a more healthy life.

Ng Jon Tzen, chief strategy and innovation officer at Ping An Technology, said, "Innovation is not only about the concept, but about the ability at execution and the speed at which the execution task can be completed. The innovation abilities among Chinese developers is well recognized in terms of scale. We are very honored and proud to have a chance to share our approach to innovation with our global colleagues and learn from them. We are looking forward to further cooperation with partners from all over the world."

After the competition, the Ping An team exhibited the final results of their efforts during the Hackathon's work demonstration session, comparing it to a series of other completed projects, including a virtual reality game, a smart mirror, an AI-based false news detection system and a remote health management platform for patients with diabetes based on the cloud, the Internet of Things and AI. Many visitors watched and praised the work from the Ping An team. In addition, the team members visited Facebook's and Google's offices in Seattle, where they engaged in discussions on technological innovation with local employees.

As the incubator of Ping An Group, Ping An Technology's approach to innovation is not only inspired by industry peers, but also by the world's leading technology companies. The company has been quite innovative on several fronts, including hackathons, internal venture incubation, cooperation with external partners including tech companies as well as providing support for the nurturing of up and coming talent at universities and start-ups. The company holds the micro innovation competition every quarter with the themes of each event based on the hot business issues of the moment, attracting the participation of hundreds of employees.

About Ping An Technology

Ping An Technology, as the high-tech core business of Ping An Group, is responsible for managing the group's key platforms and services, supporting the efficient growth of the group's insurance, banking, investment and Internet businesses. The company, which also acts as the group's technology incubator, possesses strong R&D abilities in cloud technologies, AI and big data. As Ping An Group has continued to grow, Ping An Technology has accumulated extensive experience in the three key sectors that drive the group's business: technology, the Internet and finance. In terms of technology research and in creating an IT resource inventory, the company has more than 18 new advanced technologies and unique abilities when it comes to research and development in the area of AI, including micro-expression, image and voice recognition and semantic understanding. The company maintains a corporate philosophy that always places the customer first, backed up by a dedication to exploration and innovation and supplemented by a focus on corporate social responsibility and environmental protection. The company aspires to become the world's leading financial technology company and, looking forward, to drive the "Technology Leads Finance" development model.

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