Display Interactive UGO

A simulation of connectivity integration in Display Interactive’s UGO interface. Packages showed in the picture are a representation. Image via Display Interactive

After the CAAC granted Chinese airlines the right to allow mobile device usage in-flight, Display Interactive began focusing on the Chinese market. Impact China will support the in-flight entertainment and services provider’s strategic investment.

In-flight entertainment and services vendor Display Interactive, which counts Qatar Airways and Air France among its customers, has been selected to participate in Impact China’s fourth edition. The business accelerator program, organized by Bpifrance and Business France, helps French technology companies enter the Chinese market. The program runs from January to September of this year, incorporating master classes and meetings in both Paris and China (Hong Kong, Pekin, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Canton).

“This acceleration program helps us boost our ambitions in China by connecting us to the right decision makers and local partners,” said Ana Cerezal, Display Interactive’s global director of Marketing & Communications. According to Cerezal, Display Interactive made the decision to invest in the Chinese market after the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) announced, in September 2017, that it would relax restrictions on mobile device usage in the aircraft cabin. Until the CAAC decided to grant airlines the right to make their own rules, the use of portable electronic devices on Chinese airlines was prohibited. In January 2018, Hainan and China Eastern airlines began allowing passengers to use their mobile devices in flight. The new rules mean Chinese airlines are embracing in-flight connectivity, creating room for companies like Display Interactive to enter the market.

Display Interactive’s UGO product is an SaaS (software as a service) in-flight entertainment solution, allowing airlines to adjust content and service subscriptions based on passenger engagement data. It also enables a variety of services including retail, connectivity, advertising, cabin management, flight reports and big data. While UGO can operate in non-connected aircraft, some of its features are enhanced by in-flight Wi-Fi, Cerezal explained, adding that the integration of connectivity into UGO will be a focus point for the company in China.

“Unlike the few traditional solutions available on the Chinese market, our technology is flexible by design.” – Tarek El Mitwalli, Display Interactive CEO

“We have doubled our team working for China, and our relationship with local partners [is] thriving,” Display Interactive CEO Tarek El Mitwalli said. “Unlike the few traditional solutions available on the Chinese market, our technology is flexible by design and ready to welcome new concepts and partner integrations in a record time. This is one of the main reasons why we decided to expand in the Chinese market, because we are convinced that this specificity makes it a premium choice for Chinese carriers.”

A jury of 15 French and Chinese tech experts and venture capitalists took into account business case, product assessment and strategy for growth in the Chinese market when selecting 8 companies to participate in the Impact China accelerator program. “D​isplay interactive has already lot of assets to succeed in China, a very competitive market,” said Thomas Vial, head of Tech & Services, Aeronautics for Business France China. “With its own technology, Display Interactive is in a great position to attract strong and trusty Chinese partners as well as to gain great references and reach local expectations.”

This article was updated on February 12, 2019