Chinese President learns about University LiFi

The leader of the world’s second-largest economy has been given a presentation of LiFi – the high-speed wireless data transmission technology created by Edinburgh Professor Harald Haas.

President Xi Jinping was shown LiFi at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where the technology was selected to showcase UK innovation.

Xi with LiFi light bulb
Left-right:Dame Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to China; President Xi Jinping; Dr Liam Fox MP, UK International Trade Secretary; HRH The Duke of York

Revolutionary technology

LiFi creates a faster, more secure and energy efficient connection than Wi-Fi, by using light waves instead of existing radio technology.

Demand for wireless internet access is in danger of overloading the amount that can currently be supplied by Wi-Fi.  Researchers say that Li-Fi has no such limitations and could enable this capacity crisis to be overcome.

The LiFi light bulb presented to the President is the first of its kind and was created by pureLiFi a company spun-out of the University of Edinburgh in 2012 to develop the technology.

LiFi is a connectivity platform that will revolutionise wireless communications for 5G and beyond. China has the highest number of internet users in the world, and LiFi could make a significant impact on China’s wireless infrastructure, providing high-speed, efficient data transfer with unprecedented bandwidth.

Alistair BanhamCEO, pureLiFi

Working in partnership 

Bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and China reached a record £67.5bn in 2017.

The University of Edinburgh’s work with partners across China includes a wide range of activities, including healthcare, engineering, clothes design, and low-carbon innovation.

2018 saw the opening of China’s first low-carbon college, in Shanghai. The new college is a joint initiative between the University of Edinburgh, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Lingang City, and it will become a key centre for the exchange of ideas, talent, and technology to tackle global environmental problems.

Related links

Electronics & Electrical Engineering


China-UK Low Carbon College

East Asia Office