Live from the Great Wall


It’s Sarim blogging from the heart of tech innovation in Beijing. I am with Alan Wong and Jiazi Xu from the BlackBerry® Developer Relations team and we are proud to be part of the CHINICT Hackathon this year at the Tsinghua Science Park in Beijing.

CHINICT is one of China’s largest tech innovation & entrepreneurship conferences. This 8th edition the conference officially starts on May 24th, but the doors opened a day early for the dozens of developers and designers competing for a chance to pitch alongside high-profile early-stage startups a the conference.

Franck Nazikian, the Founder of CHINICT kicked things off with platform sessions from Pearson who talked about their content APIs that offered applications free access to premium content. Everything from Jamie Oliver’s recipes to exclusive travel guides was opened up to participants to integrate into their applications. It was also quite refreshing to see the UN World Food Programme as a main supporter of the event promoting the message of Hackers Against Hunger to enhance hunger awareness in China and throughout the world.


On his first trip ever to China, Alec Saunders was up next to provide the final inspiration and encouragement to developers for the next 24 hours. Mike Zhou from the RIM China team then took the participants into a deeper dive into their platform options for building amazing applications on BlackBerry. The room erupted into excitement when they heard Mike mention the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ prize for all participants. Several came up to me and the team just to check if they had heard it correctly.

Historians say that the Chinese worked on the Great Wall for over 1700 years. It is the longest fortification ever built in history and has left its mark on not just China, but the world. As I sign off it’s hard not to notice the air of dedication and focus in the room as these developers work against time to make their mark on the world.

Alec will be speaking during the main conference as well and you can watch his interview live at 2:30 am UTC.(10:30 am EDT) at the CHINICT website.

Winners of the Hackathon will also get front seats to the BlackBerry Jam World Tour in Beijing on July 6th.

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