Source: China Daily
The artificial intelligence sector is expected to play a crucial role in attracting more investment to Guangzhou and boosting the industrial upgrading underway in the southern metropolis, traditionally known as a hub for manufacturing and foreign trade.
Guangzhou, at the heart of the Pearl River Delta region, has vowed to lead China's AI industry development through its industrial upgrades.
The AI industry, along with the next generation of information technology and biological medicine, has been included in a citywide strategic plan for Guangzhou's near-term industrial development.
There were 339 AI companies registered in the city by the end of May, according to the Guangzhou Artificial Intelligence Industrial Development and Promotion Association.
The city's AI sales revenue reached 62.58 billion yuan ($9.05 billion) last year, with investment in AI research and development totaling 5.83 billion yuan, according to the association, which added that AI industrial output is expected to surpass 100 billion yuan in 2022.
Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, is the core part of the drive to boost the province's AI industry.
According to the provincial Department of Science and Technology's AI Development Action Plan (2018-2020), the goal is to build more than 10 AI industrial clusters in top cities including Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Guangzhou's AI industry development mostly relies on clusters including the Nansha International AI Innovation Park, Guangzhou Science City and the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. Revenue from its core AI sector is expected to exceed 50 billion yuan by 2020, up from about 26 billion yuan－a third of China's total－last year.
"In the new technology era, AI and other emerging industries will help build a high-end and high-quality modern industry system as the city has been transforming its traditional industrial structure," said Yin Tao, deputy director of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.
Shen Jin, general manager of Qualcom's China investment department, said the company will invest more in the development of AI devices in Guangzhou.
"AI is not only about cloud computing but also the development of related devices," he said on Thursday.
A growing number of investors and startups are getting involved in the AI sector in Guangzhou, and the city has introduced a strategic plan to foster the industry as a new engine driving local economic and industrial growth.
"A new generation of AI is profoundly changing our production and lifestyles, injecting new momentum into the city's economic and social development," Shen said.
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