From state to BAT, China backs startups for global AI dominance

Finance, automobile, retail and healthcare seen to lead China’s advances and gains in AI, as part of a RMB 10 trillion economy by 2030

The world’s most populous nation is in the race to also become its “smartest.” 

A huge population; top-notch IT talent; diverse industries; and a thriving mix of e-commerce, mobile payments and social networks all feed into a massive pool of data for China to become an AI heavyweight. Such deep resources make it easy for China-based AI companies to invent and test new concepts and products.

China expects innovation in artificial intelligence to transform local industries worth a total of RMB 10 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) by 2030, according to the 2017 report China AI Innovation and Application. Among them, finance, automobile, retail and healthcare would lead the growth, enjoying forecast profits of around RMB 600 billion, 500 billion, 420 billion and 400 billion, respectively, through reduced costs and increased benefits from AI adoption.

Such prospects are reflected in the levels of investment achieved so far in 2018, a record-breaking year. In May, Ubtech raked in US$820 million in Series C funding led

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