AI seen as new engine of China’s development
China aims to be at the forefront of AI innovation in just over a decade. Photo: Getty Image
China has seen a rapid development of its artificial intelligence (AI) technology industry in the past year thanks in part to the Chinese government’s push to make AI a main engine of economic transition and industrial upgrade.
“The Chinese government is trying to realize the industrialization of AI and put the new technology into actual use,” said Xie Yinan, a vice president of Face++, an AI product development company.
Last year, the company received an investment from a state-backed venture capital, which Xie said shows the country’s support to this industry.
“Money is the most fundamental thing. We can feel that from the investment that we have received, the country is paying much attention to this field, and trying to activate these companies through capital,” Xie said. 
While the United States is better than China in some fundamental technologies in terms of AI, China has its advantages in phonetic recognition and industrialized application, according to Xie.
“The attitudes toward AI are also different in the two countries,” said Xie. “AI development is a strategic target for both Chinese companies and the government.”
According to the Chinese media, there are around 1,354 enterprises relating to AI in China since 2012, and the total investment amounts to 144.8 billion yuan. The total investment in AI field surpassed 62.2 billion yuan in 2017, up from the 600 million yuan in 2012.
In July last year, the State Council issued a plan on the next generation of AI. It said the AI industry should be a major growth engine and improve people's lives by 2020. The plan also set a target for China to become a leading center for global AI innovation by 2030.

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