Artificial Intelligence

Updated: May 30, 2019 Print
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A robot arm operated by Huawei's AI program plays a Go game at the launch event of Huawei Mate 20 series in Shanghai, China, Oct 26, 2018. [Photo/IC]

Shanghai is looking to become China's AI hub and wants to expand the industry scale in the city to more than 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) by 2020, according to a municipal plan issued in November 2017.

The mature industrial chain of smart chips, software and hardware services, along with the ability to attract technology talents have equipped Shanghai with an exceptional advantage in AI development.


As of the end of 2018, the city's AI sector has reached an industry scale of over 70 billion yuan, with prominent advantages in unmanned driving and smart robotics. 

The current number of AI companies in Shanghai ranks the fourth-most in the world and the second-most in China after Beijing, according to the China AI Development Report 2018 published by Tsinghua University.

The enterprises have an average history of 4.9 years, lower than the national average of 5.5 years, which means these startup enterprises are young and energetic.

Among the more than 50,000 AI technical professionals working across China, one-third of them are working in Shanghai, as stated in a report by professional networking website LinkedIn.


Artificial intelligence plays an important role in efforts to build Shanghai into a smart city, and the industry is mainly distributed in eight districts, namely Pudong, Xuhui, Changning, Minhang, Yangpu, Huangpu, Jing'an, and Jiading.

Pudong district, or Pudong New Area, boasts a cluster of smart chip design, vocal recognition, and smart manufacturing enterprises. Xuhui district features AI-powered healthcare service and AI-enabled security system businesses, and Changning district is home to AI facial recognition and smart retailing companies.


According to the municipal government's guideline regarding next-generation AI development, the government has called on industry players to form an ecosystem for AI development, improve the business environment for innovation and application, as well as attract more AI enterprises and talents to the city.

The Opinion on Promoting the City's Next Generation of AI Development was published on the municipal government website, outlining 21 measures to boost the industry. 

These include steps like forming a world class industry cluster, setting up a fund to aid the sector, nurturing 10 benchmark AI innovative enterprises with substantial influence, building six AI innovative application demonstration areas, and launching more than 100 application demonstration projects.


Advanced technology is now allowing for 'smart recycling' in Shanghai. [Photo/IC]


On May 25, Shanghai launched the country's second pilot zone for AI, which will incubate AI technologies in medical care and health, smart transportation, and smart communities.

On May 15, Microsoft Corporation opened an Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things Insider Lab in Shanghai to aid digital transformation across industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, finance, and urban construction.


The Microsoft lab will provide hardware and software resources, cloud service and access to the Microsoft ecosystem. [Photo provided to]

On April 25, Shanghai formed an AI development alliance dedicated to "resources matchmaking." The 22-member bloc summons leading AI giants including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Microsoft Asia Research Center, and ABB, a Swiss conglomerate specializing in robotics and automation technology.

On April 25, the 2019 Artificial Intelligence World Innovation Competition was held in Shanghai.

On January 23, for the first time in China, AI-assisted technology was used at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court.

On January 17, US high-tech firm International Business Machines (IBM) opened its new headquarters including research and development (R&D) centers in Zhangjiang Science City, Pudong New Area, Shanghai.

In September 2018, China's largest voice recognition company iFlytek teamed with the municipal government to launch a series of projects related to education, medical services, as well as smart city and automotive products.

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