Tech leaders tout China's AI advantages at conference




A visitor takes a photo of an automatic coffee machine at an exhibition held during the World Internet Conference Nishan Dialogue on Digital Civilization in Qufu, Shandong province on June 26, 2023. [Photo by Wang Qian/]

China boasts advantages in terms of application scenarios and talent pools in artificial intelligence, reinforcing its position as a global leader in the race, heads of tech companies said on Monday.

Leaders from Alibaba, IBM Greater China and Lenovo made the remarks at the World Internet Conference Nishan Dialogue on Digital Civilization in Qufu, Shandong province on Monday.

China has a solid foundation in AI driven by professionals in computer science and strong computing power, said Zhang Yong, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, at the main session of the dialogue.

The country has the world's second-largest computing power capacity and an annual industry growth rate of nearly 30 percent.

The areas rich in AI application and well-integrated digital economy are also well poised to underpin the country's AI development.

China's thriving manufacturing industry, coupled with its customer base, provides a broad stage for the application of AI, said Chen Xudong, chairman and general manager of IBM Greater China Group, during an interview with China Daily Website.

Widespread adoption of the internet has significantly enhanced the daily lives of its citizens, he said, adding China has achieved synchronization with the global community in AI infrastructure and capability.

While acknowledging advanced generative AI models like ChatGPT, Chen expressed confidence in China's ability to catch up and contribute to the field and said the future holds great potential for the emergence of numerous startups in these domains, offering services closely aligned with practical application.

Fan Jianping, vice-president of Lenovo Group and head of Lenovo Research AI Lab, echoed these sentiments during an interview at the dialogue.

The Chinese government's support for AI applications is one advantage, Fan said.

Officials have recognized AI's significance in Chinese society and the progress driven by its applications, and the Chinese people's enthusiasm for new technologies is also driving AI's advancement in the country's market.

For instance, the penetration level of digital payment technologies in China surpasses many other countries, showcasing the population's eagerness to embrace emerging innovations.