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Shenzhen Special Zone News: "Magic hand" & customs clearance -- Maxvision Technology leads in innova
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Maxvision Technology, a pioneer in intelligent construction of the port, has gripped the largest market share.

●Zhang Cheng, reporter of Shenzhen Special Zone News

Passengers passing customs witness a great change from long queues and manual inspection one by one to self-service customs clearance leading to a very short time needed in customs clearance. Also, drivers, who needed to stop their vehicles three times, now just stop once in customs clearance. These changes are credited to the 'magical hand' of Maxvision Technology Co., Ltd.

As the originator of China's smart port construction, Maxvision Technology leads the trend of port in this field, and has become the industry leader with the highest market share. Today, almost every port in China is using products and solutions from the said company.

Pioneer in smart construction of ports in China

In 1997, as Hong Kong returned to the motherland, the demand for customs clearance and trade in goods surged rapidly. Several like-minded people thought that business opportunities were approaching.

Acting quickly. They established Maxvision Technology, specializing in the research and development of port smart and digitized projects. In the early stage, they achieved a success in the border control system of the second frontier in SHENZHEN, then they gradually shifted their focus to customs clearance of ports. At that time, almost all the customs clearance processes, whether personnel, vehicles or goods, were dominated by manual inspection, which were complex and time-consuming. 

Jiang Bing, president of Maxvision Technology, didn't expect the change to be so big and so fast. He recalled,'In the past, in customs clearance, incoming and outgoing vehicles had to stop three times: the first time, personnel were inspected by the frontier inspection personnel; the second time, the goods were inspected by the customs inspectors; the third time, animals and plants were inspected by the quarantine personnel. Each time, the driver had to step out of the vehicle to submit relevant materials before completing customs clearance.' 

Unlike the first batch of entrepreneurs, Jiang Bing joined Maxvision Technology three years later. 'When I was young, I didn't want to live a life that followed a predicable course, so I resigned from a state-owned enterprise in my hometown of Chongqing and came to Shenzhen in 2000.'

'Compared with inland cities, Shenzhen's information technology enterprises and supply chain are quite better. In addition, the return of Hong Kong greatly stimulated the demand for customs clearance. With this kind of understanding on the market, I joined Maxvision.' Jiang Bing said

Maxvision Technology took the lead in successfully developing the entry-exit supervision system with the functions of vehicle intelligent identification, and successfully applied in Huanggang port and etc. Since then, the driver can pass the customs without getting off.

In 2005, Maxvision Technology further made a change from 'three stops' into 'one stop'. With passing through the position of the barrier gate just once, the driver can complete all inspection procedures.

'Under the condition that each inspection process remains unchanged, we share the front-end hardware to realize one-stop customs clearance.' According to Jiang Bing, this is a major innovation in customs clearance at ports across the country, which has produced great social repercussions. Joint inspection departments at major ports and relevant enterprises across the country have come to Shenzhen to 'learn from the experience'.

After establishing the position of industry leader, Maxvision Technology increased the input in research and development of port digitized or intelligent system, built a complete product matrix and developed an overall solution for smart port self-service inspection, soon letting us occupy the leading position in the industry that continues to today. 'Almost every place in the country with ports has our products.' Jiang Bing said.

High degree of professional proficiency 

Every enterprise will encounter various problems on the way to growth. Maxvision Technology is no exception.

'Distrust is the biggest problem.' Jiang Bing said that, at the early stage, because our company was small, some users would be skeptical. 'How can a small-scale company be responsible for such an important project as port customs clearance?'

Focusing on technological innovation, Maxvision Technology gave an answer in its own way. As an R&D driven enterprise, the company has insisted on investing 10% of its operating revenue in R&D every year for more than 20 years. At present, there are hundreds of persons in software and hardware R&D and artificial intelligence algorithm research teams, and more than 300 kinds of software and hardware products that are independently developed and produced. Among them, many personalized customized products are unique in the market.

Jiang Bing and his colleagues are most proud that among their company's existing smart port products, all internal hardware are independently developed.

'In the early days, some hardware in our system came from abroad, but they were only one item in the whole system. Sometimes there are problems when connecting with our subsystem. They were not all zero fault products.' What made Jiang Bing more headache was the working mode of foreign partners. 'I could not contact them as soon as they got off work. I had to send emails for all kinds of things. How could I be efficient?'

It takes a good blacksmith to make steel. The management of Maxvision Technology was determined to rely on itself to make better products that could replace imports.

Today, the self-developed entry-exit self-service inspection system of Maxvision Technology has come to the seventh generation. The new products have further improved the speed and stability of document reading, fingerprint identification, face recognition and channel detection, and accelerated the speed of customs clearance. Its self-developed artificial intelligence algorithm can carry out full intelligent early warning for abnormal situations such as self-service channel passengers following through and counterfeiting identity. At present, it has been widely popularized throughout the country.

In May last year, it was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Jiang Bing said proudly, 'Now we have achieved a great progress, but we do not rely on venture capital and loans. We are very confident in our strength and future development.'

Technologies, hardships, and market expansion

In 2011, Maxvision Technology was responsible for the construction of travel inspection equipment and vehicle customs clearance equipment for Xinjiang Horgos port, a very important project of China-Kazakhstan cooperation zone.

'At that time, the delivery time was very tight, the task was heavy and the requirements were very high.' Jiang Bing said. Their team worked closely, overcame various difficulties, and completed the task on time with good quality with excellent technology and rich construction experience. 'More happily, the new system we provided was recognized by the customer. Due to it, the door of the market in Xinjiang and even the northwest formally opened for us.'

It is not easy to develop port business in border areas such as Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Jiang Bing has visited these places several times, and the conditions are more difficult than he imagined. 'Some ports are not close to the city, and just have a few isolated buildings, and so forth. When developing business in the local area, we often face the situation that we can't even buy a toothbrush or find a restaurant. In case of rush time, we can't get back to the station at night, so we can only sleep on the floor on the construction site.

'In some places, we can experience 'spring, summer, autumn and winter' in a few hours. If it's not for the work, we may not go to those places for a lifetime.' Jiang Bing said. However, it is these environmental differences that provide a broader market space for Maxvision Technology. Some users require safety first, while others require customs clearance experience first. Maxvision Technology needs to create personalized products for different users, which improves its R&D ability and product adaptability.

After gaining a firm foothold in the field of smart ports, the company began to enter the intelligent transportation field in 2013. In recent years, it has successively developed automatic recording system for red light running, intelligent detection and recording system for road vehicles, motor vehicle speedometer, illegal parking capture and evidence collection system, launched a new generation of AI speedometer, AI camera and other products, solved the problems of urban traffic governance, and conducted strategic cooperation with Huawei in the fields of smart ports and intelligent transportation etc.

Today, the company has extended its tentacles to the airport and developed smart airport self-service systems, including self-service check-in, self-service check-in, self-service security check-in, self-service boarding, baggage sorting, contraband analysis, service robot, AI temperature measurement, etc. They haves been applied in airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Shandong and Xinjiang, among which the self-service security check-in system is the first product of same kind in China.

At the same time, the company actively develops the international market. Accord to Jiang Bing, based on the current situation, the overseas smart port market has great potential. The company established the smart port overseas business department at the end of 2020, in order to enter the overseas market. At present, it has reached cooperation intentions with relevant units in some countries. After the listing, guided by the policy of the Road & Belt Initiative, the company will give priority to the development of the intelligent port market along the countries along the Road & Belt Initiative.

Jiang Bing said, 'We hope to be based in Shenzhen, radiate the whole country and compete in the global market, and build a leading brand in smart port, smart airport and smart transportation.'

Reporter’s notes

Shenzhen has always placed its support for enterprise technological innovation in a prominent position. It has cultivated not only a number of world-class technology companies such as Huawei, Tencent and Dajiang, but also a number of excellent local brands such as Maxvision Technology, whose success is credited to the reform and opening-up. These large and small innovative enterprises are the driving force and source of innovation in Shenzhen.

Instead of just following the crowd, Maxvision sees the right time, specializes in a certain sector, and finally is successful after years of efforts. The development and growth of the company is actually the most vivid portrait of the simple truth of 'no pains, no gains'. As a reporter, I deeply realize that if scientific and technological innovation enterprises want to be strong, they should not only keenly seize the opportunities given by the times, but also strengthen their R&D and innovation ability, to make steady development and continuous breakthroughs in round after round of competition.

Facing the future, we hope that more and more enterprises that adhere to independent research and development and actively explore and innovate will emerge to continuously inject vitality into the development of the country and the industry.

【Reprinted from SHENZHEN Special Zone News on May 10, 2021】