Updated: Feb 24
The Chinese government which has a history of setting ambitious targets for end market verticals it wants to be a global leader in, has announced a soft target for its AI companies to achive annual sales of 3 trillion Yuan ($470 billion) by 2025. This would mean trippling the combined sales of its AI companies from the current levels. These medium and long-term targets are often a boon for the industries in which they are set, as the usually mean that the government there is willing to invest into companies in the space by heavilly subsidising them. This news comes after a torrid time for AI companies which operate in both China and abroad. First, there have been various Chinese companies placed on blacklists by US and other foreign powers after having been accused of using AI to illegally crack-down on ethic minorities in China – SenseTime which listed on Hong Kong exhange on 10th Dec was also blacklisted in this way by the US on the same day. The Chinese government also wants to block data collected on its citizens from being stored and analysed abroad which has led to high-profile implications such as ride hailing company Didi now having to de-list from US stock exchanges, less than 6 months after IPO’ng there. Ultimately the Chinese governments moves to stimulate its home grown AI industry could be seen as a realisation that when it comes to AI, unlike in many other verticals, it may be diffcult for Chinese companies to grow internationally and vice versa due to what can be the sensitive nature of the data collected and analysed.