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tv   Three Years in Wuhan  BBC News  December 29, 2020 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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this is bbc news, the headlines: us president—electjoe biden has complained that his transition team are facing — what he called — irresponsible obstruction from the political leadership at the department of defence. mr biden said his staff were not getting adequate information and briefings on key national security matters. a prominent saudi human rights activist who campaigned for women to be allowed to drive has been sentenced to almost six years in jail on charges of spying and conspiracy. the un human rights office has called the sentencing of 31—year—old loujain al—hathloul ‘deeply troubling'. in the uk, the daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases has passed 40,000 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. there were 41,385 new cases — with 357 deaths in the last 2a hours, further increasing pressure on hospitals across the uk. now on bbc news, another chance to see robotics company ceo
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xu jishui and software entrepreneur huang tiesen fight to establish their start—ups in wuhan‘s fast—growing new technology sector. wuhan — china's economic heartland and the epicentre of a global pandemic. the city at the heart of a public health crisis in china is shutting its public transport network to try to prevent the spread of a virus. in the spring of 2017, we set out to follow the fortunes of two companies as they fought to establish themselves in the city's 0ptics valley. a dedicated zone for new technology enterprises, it's part of the move to transform the city's economy. this is the story of some of the people who live and work
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and the story of wuhan before and after the arrival of the coronavirus that would change all of our lives. the city of wuhan is the capital of central china's hubei province. home to 11 million people, it lies at the confluence of the han and yangtze rivers. known as the cradle of chinese civilisation, the yangtze is the longest river in the world to flow entirely within one country. and it was here in wuhan that, in 1966, chairman mao zedong made his famous swim —
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aged 73 — to prove he still had the stamina to run the nation. xujishui came to wuhan to pursue his education. a former university lecturer, he now heads up a fenjin robotics in the city's
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0ptics valley zone. xu's company began working in car assembly. the competition was tough. and the company is now automating the distillation process for a local white liquorfactory.
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for xu jishui and his business partners — zhang zipeng and li yi — there are constant challenges. one of the young technicians was recently caught breaking health and safety regulations. and it's not the first time.
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huang tiesen also came to wuhan to make his name. his start—up company, senguo, is trying to market software that will enable fruit retailers to adjust their stock and pricing according to real time demand. but, after a year, there has been little sign of success. staff are becoming nervous. this man is a front—end programmer who has been with the business since it began.
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tiesen chose wuhan to set up his company, hoping to break into this major new technology centre. he turns to his technical
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director to discuss finding a replacement programmer, but the cream of the crop has been snapped up by all the big players. tiesen lives with his girlfriend, ying menghua, who's in charge of operations at senguo.
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the business premises are also tiesen and menghua's personal residence. xu visits the distillery to offer a personal apology to his client after one of the young technicians was caught breaking health and safety regulations. in china, sitting down over a meal is the best way of clearing the air. the client is appeased
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for the moment. but xu has to make sure they deliver on time. the client is appeased for the moment. but xu has to make sure they deliver on time. he dismisses the technician at fault as a warning to others.
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his business partner, zhang zipeng, disapproves.
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it is a difference of opinion that will lead to trouble between the partners. tiesen is also feeling the pressure. he is trying to persuade fruit retailers of the benefits of online to offline commerce. but the angel investment of $300,000 he got a year ago is running dry and he can barely afford staff wages.
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an average of 70 start—ups are registered every day and over the past 20 years the population of optics valley alone has jumped eleven—fold to nearly 2 million. the zone was established, in part, to encourage young talent from the city's 80 plus universities to stay in wuhan. like huazhong university of science and technology — tiesen‘s alma mater.
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tiesen needs another $700,000 to keep his business afloat, so he seeks out professor liu, nicknamed "business matchmaker" for her aptitude in pairing start—ups with investors.
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in spite of tiesen‘s shortcomings, professor liu can see promise and offers him a place at the next 0ptics valley investment fair she's organising in beijing. but she gives him a strong warning. in the 19th century, wuhan was known throughout the west as a major commercial port and trading centre for tea and tobacco. due to its prime location, it later established itself
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as a home to heavy industry. the recent push to establish the city as a burgeoning hub for tech companies means businesses have had to move fast to keep up. at fenjin robotics, an emergency meeting of senior management has been called to discuss the status of the distillery project. with the deadline looming, xu notices something he wasn't expecting. it seems that zhang
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has been taking things into his own hands. he has given orders to continue production of equipment for a different project.
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with the clock ticking and senior management at odds, not only is the prompt delivery of the robots in doubt, but the company's entire operation is called into question.
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beijing — capital of china and the dream destination for all start—ups. for dot—com businesses, zhongguancun in the northwest part of the city is china's answer to silicon valley. business broker professor liu is prepping her young entrepreneurs from 0ptics valley. senguo gets its first black mark.
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with two black marks already in professor liu's book, tiesen is off to a bad start. tiesen and his partner meet with an investor who had specifically sought them out.
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they meet with other investors throughout the day.
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desperate not to lose his one chance at getting an injection of new capital, tiesen intercepts the investor who had specifically wanted to see him.
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in wuhan, xu's business partner zhang is frustrated with the way the emergency meeting went.
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at the end of an unsuccessful day of meetings, tiesen is also worried about the future of his company. in the next episode, tiesen and menghua's relationship comes under pressure. and xu jishui struggles with setbacks.
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frosty nights out there, certainly cold enough for it to snow and some of us could be waking up to a fresh covering of snow in the morning. now, through the early hours, certainly a chance of it in parts of northern scotland, but also northern england through the pennines. south of that, it's just hit—and—miss wintry showers. now, these are the city temperatures in rural spots.
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early in the morning, it's going to be a good deal colder than that. so, we're watching this area of snow from the pennines moving through the northwest of england. there will be some rain mixed in there as well. possibly the midlands, and then ending up in southern wales and maybe the south—west, so that strip there. and also, those snow showers continuing and northern parts of scotland. elsewhere, we're talking about bright or sunny spells during the course of the day. now, the next spell of snow, and this is wednesday, will come in from the northwest, probably reaching wales and then spreading a little bit further east during the course of the day.
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welcome to bbc news — i'm mike embley. our top stories: us president—electjoe biden complains his transition team are not getting co—operation from the trump administration on crucial matters like national security. a prominent saudi human rights activist who campaigned for women to be allowed to drive is jailed for six years. her family deny the charges. we are going to be appealing the verdict even though we don't have any hope. the number of patients being treated for coronavirus in england's hospitals is at its highest level since the pandemic began. and a major five—year study of the atlantic ocean discovers


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