China’s New Obsession: Attracting Billionaires To Compete With US AI Giants

Billionaire entrepreneurs, mid-level engineers, and foreign business veterans all have a strikingly similar goal: to outperform China’s geopolitical foe in a technological race.

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China’s IT industry has a new obsession: In the frantic global artificial intelligence competition, China is battling with US behemoths such as Google and Microsoft Corp.

Billionaire entrepreneurs, mid-level engineers, and foreign business veterans all have a startlingly consistent goal: to outperform China’s geopolitical foe in a technology that might define global power stakes. Among them is internet tycoon Wang Xiaochuan, who entered the fray when OpenAI’s ChatGPT became viral on social media in November. He joins a group of Chinese scientists, programmers, and investors, including former workers of ByteDance Ltd., e-commerce platform Inc., and Google, who are anticipated to drive $15 billion in AI technology expenditure this year. 

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The chance came quickly for Wang, who established the search engine Sogou, which Tencent Holdings Ltd. took out in a $3.5 billion transaction less than two years ago.  By April, the computer science graduate had founded his own company and raised $50 million in seed money. He went out to former Sogou employees, several of whom he persuaded to join him. By June, his business had developed an open-source massive language model that was already being utilized by experts at China’s two most famous universities.

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“During the race, we all noticed the sound of the starter pistol.” “All tech companies, large and small, are on the same starting line,” Wang, who called his startup Baichuan, or “A Hundred Rivers,” told Bloomberg News. “China is still three years behind the US, but we might not require three years to catch up.”

The very best The influx of Chinese expertise and capital into AI mimics a surge of activity in Silicon Valley, which has far-reaching consequences for Beijing’s intensifying dispute with Washington. Analysts and CEOs think AI will influence the next generation of technology leaders, just way the internet and smartphones did. Furthermore, it has the ability to accelerate applications ranging from supercomputing to military capabilities, thereby tipping the geopolitical balance.

China is a drastically different picture, one constrained by US tech sanctions, data and censorship demands from authorities, and Western skepticism, which inhibits the international spread of its national champions. All of these will make catching up in the US more difficult. 

According to previously unreported figures compiled by consultant Preqin, AI investments in the US surpass those in China, totaling $26.6 billion in the year to mid-June vs $4 billion in China.

However, the margin is steadily closing, at least in terms of transaction flow. In the year to mid-June, Chinese venture agreements in AI accounted for more than two-thirds of the US total of approximately 447, compared to roughly 50% in the preceding two years. According to Preqin, China-based AI venture agreements will outperform consumer tech in 2022 and early 2023. 

Beijing is well aware of all of this. The Xi Jinping government recognizes that AI, like semiconductors, will be vital to retaining China’s dominance and will likely use national resources to push progress. While startup funding has plummeted in the years since Beijing went after digital behemoths and “reckless expansion of capital,” the Party appears to be encouraging AI development. 

It’s a frequent problem for Chinese IT companies. 

During the smartphone age, a wave of entrepreneurs driven by Tencent, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and TikTok-owner ByteDance developed an industry that could legitimately compete with Silicon Valley. It helped that Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp were barred from entering the 1.4 billion-person market. At one point in 2018, China’s venture capital financing was on track to surpass that of the United States — until the trade war exacerbated an economic slowdown. This scenario, in which local enterprises prosper when US rivals are missing, is likely to repeat itself in an AI field where ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are effectively excluded. 

Large AI models may someday act similarly to smartphone operating systems Android and iOS, which supplied the infrastructure or platforms on which Tencent, ByteDance, and Ant Group Co. pioneered new territory: in social media with WeChat, video with Douyin and Tiktok, and payments with Alipay. The idea is that generative AI services would hasten the development of new platforms that will host a surge of breakthrough apps for businesses and consumers.

That’s a potential gold mine for a sector still reeling from the effects of Xi’s two-year internet crackdown, which deprived IT firms of the dizzying growth of previous years. No one wants to miss out on what Nvidia Corp. CEO Jensen Huang has dubbed the “iPhone moment” of their age.

“Both the US and China are engaged in an AI arms race,” said Daniel Ives, senior analyst at Wedbush Securities. “In this ‘Game of Thrones’ battle, China tech has to deal with a stricter regulatory framework around AI, which puts one hand behind the back.” We predict a $800 billion market opportunity for AI over the next decade, and we are still in the early phases.”

The determination to catch OpenAI is visible in the somewhat haphazard manner in which incumbents ranging from Baidu Inc. and SenseTime Group Inc. to Alibaba have rolled out AI bots in recent months.

Some of the industry’s top stars will be joining them. Wang Changhu, former head of ByteDance’s AI Lab; Zhou Bowen, ex-president of Inc.’s AI and cloud computing business; Meituan co-founder Wang Huiwen and current boss Wang Xing; and venture capitalist Kai-fu Lee, who made his career supporting Baidu, are among those among their ranks. 

Ex-Baidu President Zhang Yaqin, now dean of Tsinghua University’s Institute for AI Industry Research and administrator of a number of promising initiatives, told Chinese media in March that investors approached him nearly every day that month. He thinks that up to 50 companies are working on huge language models throughout the country. Wang Changhu, a former Microsoft Research lead researcher before joining Bytedance in 2017, claimed hundreds of investors approached him on WeChat on the same day he was planning to launch his generative AI firm. 

Axpert Media News Desk
Axpert Media News Desk
Axpert Media News Desk is an Internet media Website and our goal is to reach out People all over world with News, Informations & Entertainment. Ect, founder & ceo Krishnaanand

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