In late 1998, a salesman for the Nanjing Samples trading company struck up a conversation with a friend in Nanjing's public security bureau. The salesman had noticed the public security bureau had installed surveillance cameras at traffic stops to monitor violations. Nanjing Samples is a local agent licensed to sell a number of foreign electronic goods, including Kodak digital cameras, in Jiangsu province. And so, the salesman asked his friend at the public security bureau about the possibility of installing digital cameras instead. The public security bureau official thought it over and agreed to let the salesman test his idea on one traffic corner in Nanjing. During the next two months, Nanjing Samples developed a hardware and software system to use digital cameras to monitor the selected spot and send the information back to traffic control. The result was impressive, by the end of 1999, Nanjing Samples had installed its digital surveillance cameras not only all over Nanjing, but also throughout the Jiangsu province. The company is planning to list on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market board this year and raise at least HK$100 million. The Nanjing-based private enterprise is in the process of hiring an underwriter for the Hong Kong listing. It has already talked with Core Pacific-Yamaichi and Credit Agricole Indosuez. Nanjing Samples will go public with its subsidiary, Nanjing Samples Technology, a company set up as part of the group's restructuring in 2000. Parent Nanjing Samples Group holds 40 per cent of Nanjing Samples Technology. And Shenzhen-listed Nanjing Huadong Electronics Information & Technology and Nanjing Zhongbei each hold a 26.67 per cent stake. Nanjing Samples Technology vice-general manager Guo Yajun said it broke even in 2000, with profits slightly under a million yuan (about HK$937,200). Last year, its profits were close to three million yuan. Half of Nanjing Samples Technology's revenues still come from its traffic surveillance camera systems, which are used everywhere on the mainland, apart from Tibet. Another 30 per cent of Nanjing Samples Technology's revenues comes from the cargo-monitoring system it makes for a dozen mainland customs houses. And the remaining 20 per cent of the company's earnings are from a digital evidence presentation system. Courts in more than 20 provinces have used the company's digital evidence presentation system to pull up evidence or video recordings of witnesses in court cases. But the future of the company lies in its bread and butter - developing products for the mainland's recently constructed traffic networks. 'Only if you study the Government's policy can you immediately change the direction of your enterprise's development,' Mr Guo said. In 2000, the Public Security Ministry announced its 'safe roads' policy aimed to eliminate highway robbery and local governments imposing illegal toll fees. Nanjing Samples Technology plans to use the funds raised from its initial public offering to develop smart systems which will monitor and regulate the flow of traffic along China's highways. 'Because our enterprise has already grown to a certain scale, both in terms of technological capability and research and development. We want to move into more superior quality products such as smart traffic control systems,' Mr Guo said.