For sanitary ware manufacturer EKO Development, a live-streamed exhibition perfectly conforms to its idea of "contactless smart dustbins."
"In the face of the epidemic, no-touch means less exposure to pathogens and lower risk of infection," said Chen Yizhi, chairman of the Guangzhou-based company, while introducing his digital booth at the ongoing 127th China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair that kicked off on June 15.
The 10-day Canton Fair, deemed as an important barometer of China's foreign trade, was moved online due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite going virtual, the event drew some 25,000 enterprises from home and abroad.
"Live broadcast brought us new customers by allowing global customers who can not personally attend the event to know about our new products," Chen said.
Organizers and participants said the fair managed to maintain its high quality, and just like previous years, exhibitors fiercely competed to secure exhibition area, thanks to corporate innovation and smooth work resumption in China.
According to local delegates, they received no fewer applications from companies than in previous years. Local delegations are granted booth quotas by the organizers for distribution among its members.
"We received a deluge of applications from companies, and the booths were in short supply," said Ye Hua from the commerce bureau of Shenzhen, adding that there was an ardent competition among Shenzhen delegates.
According to the Guangzhou's commerce bureau, the delegation from the city also saw over 1,000 companies competing for 600 available slots.
Both Shenzhen and Guangzhou are in Guangdong Province -- south China's manufacturing heartland -- where favorable policies have been rolled out to reboot factories after the epidemic waned.
In April, economic activities in the province had rebounded to the same level last year, official data showed.
Besides, the virtual fair did not lower its thresholds in a bid to boost the number of participating companies, the organizers said.
"We've made efforts to ensure the quality of participating companies," said Liao Zhihao, an official with the China Foreign Trade Center.
"The delegation from the city of Zhongshan, for instance, had phased out 40 companies after reevaluation to optimize its composition," Liao said.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's value-added industrial output rose 4.4 percent year on year in May, up 0.5 percentage points from April, amid accelerated production.