Number of AI corporations in China stands 2nd in 2020 globally: industry report
Published: Apr 20, 2021 01:00 PM
A concept image of a self-driving vehicle powered by artificial intelligence Illustration: VCG

A concept image of a self-driving vehicle powered by artificial intelligence Photo: VCG

The number of artificial intelligent (AI) corporations in China stands at the second place in the world in 2020, next after the US, according to an annual global AI industry map published by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) at a summit held in East China's Shandong on Monday.

China has about one quarter of global AI corporations in 2020, while the number of AI companies in US accounted for 38.3 percent of the total recorded. US and China possess absolute competitive advantages in the industry.

"There is no fundamental gap in AI technologies between the US and China," Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that China in fact performs better than US when it comes to AI fundamental research and industrialization.

Zhang said that most Chinese AI firms don't overplay their development of AI technologies and haven't literally included AI in their business scopes. Chinese tech companies, internet firms and those big data companies actually are developing AI. Given this, the gap in the numbers of AI corporations between China and US is not materially important.

The list of top 10 countries with the most AI companies also includes UK, Canada, India and France, which hasn't showed obvious changes in the past four years.

Wei Liang, deputy head of CAICT, noted at the summit that Chinese governments promoted the development of AI industry and the fusion of technologies and social and economic development by setting up forerunner and experimental zones.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced to establish AI innovative application forerunner zones in eight cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province and Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province.

The AI industry value in the world reached $156.5 billion in 2020, a 12.3 percent rise year-on-year, slower than the growth rate in 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19. China's AI industrial volume was $43.4 billion, up 13.75 percent year-on-year and beating the global pace.

Global Times