China Spurs Growth of Artificial Intelligence Sector


Regional authorities around China have launched plans to foster the development of their artificial intelligence industries.

Chongqing, Guangdong, Tianjin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Fujian, Sichuan and Anhui are amongst the Chinese provinces whose governments have produced official plans that specifically target development of the artificial intelligence sector.

On 26 June Tang Liangzhi (唐良智), mayor of the central Chinese megacity of Chongqing, unveiled plans for the creation of a “smart industry hub” that will focus on a total of 12 key sectors including big data and artificial intelligence.

Anhui province also just recently released its “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry Development Plan” (新一代人工智能产业发展规划) that covers the period from 2018 – 2030.

The plan wants the Anhui province AI industry to exceed 15 billion yuan in scope by 2020, with a 100 billion yuan flow-on effect for other associated sector.

According to official data China’s AI market scale hit 21.69 billion yuan in 2017, for growth of 52.8% compared to 2015.

An “Artificial Intelligence + Manufacturing” policy is currently the key focus for China’s official AI development efforts.

In December 2017 China unveiled the “Three Year Action Plan to  Expedite the Development of a Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry (2018 – 2020)” (促进新一代人工智能产业发展三年行动计划), which focuses on the integration of information technology with manufacturing technology.

“The smart standardisation plan (智能化标准提案) released by China has become the world’s first international standard directed at smart manufacturing services platforms,” said Li Peilin (李培林) vice-head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to state media.

“AI technology has already become a key force for driving the transition from the mobile internet era to the smart internet era, and ‘AI +’ industry applications are becoming a new engine for economic growth.”