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Beijing goes all out to fund AI tech

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-01 09:06

Visitors check out a virtual reality-enabled fintech product during a services trade fair in Beijing. [Photo by Wei Tong/For China Daily]

Beijing is set to ramp up its investment guidance by establishing a fund to optimize the innovation of the artificial intelligence industry, with the initial phase already seeing 26 projects included with a scale of 350 million yuan ($48.7 million), a senior official in the capital said on Thursday.

Yu Yingjie, a member of the CPC Leadership Group of Beijing municipal government, stated during a forum that the Beijing government plans to increase investment guidance in areas such as domestically produced AI chips and innovative algorithms for large-scale models.

"Apart from the initial 26 projects included, several others are currently undergoing evaluation processes. Meanwhile, we will attract social capital to increase investment efforts in order to drive the core technologies of AI and support the growth of innovative enterprises in the sector," Yu said.

The Beijing government is also set to introduce a specialized talent plan for the field of AI, currently in the process of drafting specific measures to focus on cultivating top talent within the industry and attracting skilled professionals, Yu added.

Recently, Beijing has intensified its industrial support in line with its plans to establish itself as an international hub for technological innovation and a national application pilot zone for AI.

In January, Beijing established four funds focused on robotics, AI, pharmaceuticals and the information industry. Among these, the AI fund has a targeted total size of 10 billion yuan, with an initial target size of 4 billion yuan, as reported by Chinese media outlet Chinastarmarket.cn.

Xu Jun, vice-president of Beijing-based Beiming Software Co, said the company has been cooperating with several AI enterprises — including Huawei — to explore the global market based on its advantages in computing power.

"The Beijing government has been paying close attention to the AI industry and the policies are always swift and effective," she said. "AI is an emerging industry which needs more guidance from the government, and Beijing has been leading it."

During the 2nd Beijing AI Industry Innovation Development Conference, Western Beijing AI Valley signed agreements with four enterprises to jointly establish Beijing's first innovation AI computing cluster, and unveiled the data asset center of the Beijing International Data Exchange.

Lyu Chenfei, head of Mentougou district where Western Beijing AI Valley is located, said as one of Beijing's key AI development areas, Mentougou has leveraged its local conditions to find its own position within the AI industry, achieving coordinated development in tandem with traditional AI strongholds such as Haidian district.

"We warmly welcome related companies and talent to participate in the AI industry in Mentougou," he said.

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