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AWS will step up long-term play in nation, exec says

By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-06 09:24

A view of the booth of Amazon Web Services during a recent expo in Shanghai. [Photo/China Daily]

Amazon Web Services is committed to long-term investments in China, and will focus on offering generative artificial intelligence technology and helping Chinese enterprises in their digital transformation, a senior executive said.

The cloud service platform of United States technology company Amazon will continue to invest in generative AI and drive enterprises in accelerating their digital transformation and AI innovations, said Rob Chu, corporate vice-president and president of Amazon Web Services Greater China.

Amazon's cloud computing business has witnessed steady growth in the country, Chu added.

AWS has established specialized teams to provide industrial solutions, AI and cloud services to different industry segments — automotive, manufacturing, life sciences, retail, media and entertainment, gaming and finance — in the nation.

The company also said it will strengthen cooperation with Chinese smart mobility solutions provider NavInfo in fields like intelligent connected vehicles, and the development and mass production of intelligent driving technology. It will also roll out localized and tailor-made services for the automotive industry in China.

"The industrial application will be the direction where generative AI can really create the most value in the future. We are still in the early stages of development, but the possibilities are endless," Chu said.

He noted that AI-powered large language models are of great significance and serve as the foundation of generative AI innovation, and that enterprises need to choose appropriate models and innovative platforms for generative AI applications, based on their diversified business scenarios.

He said AWS hopes to leverage its advantages in computing power, models and frameworks, and abundant application services to help enterprises build and apply generative AI.

Generative AI refers to computer algorithms trained with huge amounts of data capable of generating content such as images, text, audio and video. It is the key technology underpinning US-based research firm OpenAI's ChatGPT.

According to a report by global consultancy McKinsey & Co, generative AI will add between $2.6 trillion and $4.4 trillion in annual value to the global economy, resulting in a significant effect across all sectors of industry.

The report said banking, high technology and life sciences are among the industries that could see the biggest impact — as a percentage of their revenues — from generative AI. Across the banking industry, the technology could deliver an additional $200 billion to $340 billion value annually if it is fully implemented, it added.

Chu said AWS has continued to invest in China since its entry into the local market in 2013, and is committed to helping Chinese enterprises expand their presence in overseas markets and enhance their competitiveness globally. AWS has already served nearly 80 percent of Chinese enterprises choosing to go abroad, he said.

Wu Lianfeng, vice-president and chief research analyst at market consultancy IDC China, said several Chinese firms have currently prioritized leveraging AI to drive business growth, while various industries are looking to seize the opportunities of digital transformation driven by AI.

However, these enterprises are facing mounting difficulties in the process of digital transformation, such as a lack of innovation and collaboration among various departments.

He said enterprises should devise long-term plans for digital transformation and continuously pour money into this field.

China's spending on information and communications technology (ICT) is expected to increase by 9.8 percent year-on-year in 2024, surpassing the global average by two percentage points, IDC said. It further predicted that the growth rate of ICT spending in China will likely reach 10.2 percent year-on-year in 2025, continuing to outpace the global average.

Noting that the digitalization of enterprises serves as the cornerstone of the digital economy, Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, said enterprises should accelerate the large-scale application of AI technologies and promote the transformation and upgrade of traditional industries.

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