In a show reminiscent of the 2008 Beijing Olympics drumming spectacle, state broadcaster CCTV aired a dance routine by 540 synchronized robots accompanied by 29 neon drones on Sunday.

The annual Chinese New Year Gala, which attracts some 700 million viewers every year, is an epic live variety show showcasing Chinese culture with a healthy dose of 爱国 (patriotism).

China has invested heavily in kickstarting an innovation economy amid turbulence caused by a slowing economy, and nothing showcases a newfound commitment to hi-tech like half a thousand dancing mechanical men.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com