Development Status of Artificial Intelligence AI Industry in China

     1. Development status of AI

    With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence has gradually entered reality from science fiction. Since the concept of artificial intelligence was first put forward in 1956, the development of artificial intelligence has experienced ups and downs. With the breakthrough of core algorithms, the rapid improvement of computing power, and the support of massive Internet data, artificial intelligence finally ushered in a qualitative leap in the second decade of the 21st century, and became the focus of science and technology attracting worldwide attention.
    For China, the development of artificial intelligence is a historic strategic opportunity, which is crucial to alleviate the pressure of population aging in the future, meet the challenges of sustainable development and promote the transformation and upgrading of economic structure. As the core driving force of the new round of industrial transformation and the strategic technology leading the future development, the state attaches great importance to the development of artificial intelligence industry. In 2017, the State Council released the "New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan" to strategically deploy the artificial intelligence industry; In the government work reports in March 2018 and March 2019, it was emphasized that it is necessary to accelerate the development of emerging industries and promote research and development of artificial; applicationCultivate a new generation of information technology and other emerging industrial clusters to expand the digital economy.
    Since the deep learning algorithm was put forward in 2006, the application of artificial intelligence technology has made a breakthrough. Since 2012, the explosive growth of data has provided sufficient "nourishment" for artificial intelligence, and deep learning algorithms have achieved breakthroughs in speech and visual recognition, making it possible for the artificial intelligence industry to land and commercialize.
    2. Development layout of AI

    On the whole, China’s artificial intelligence industry has formed a pattern of coordinated development in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta region and Pearl River Delta region, especially in the eastern coastal areas. According to IDC’s Evaluation Report on the Development of Artificial Intelligence Computing Power in China in 2019-2020, the TOP5 cities in China’s list of artificial intelligence cities in 2019 are Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou in turn.
    Among them, Beijing has a relatively mature layout and a relatively complete industrial chain. In particular, Zhongguancun Science City and other institutions provide favorable policies, technologies and talents for the development of Beijing’s artificial intelligence industry. At present, the number of enterprises with artificial intelligence in Beijing ranks in the forefront of the country, about 300.
    The number of artificial intelligence enterprises in Shanghai is less than that in Beijing, but it is also ahead of other provinces and cities. Shanghai plans to build an artificial intelligence highland and create a first-class artificial intelligence innovation ecology. At present, it has laid out a "human-shaped" spatial structure, which is distributed in 8 regions and 11 industries. In addition to Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other places are also actively deployed, and artificial intelligence enterprises are more concentrated.
    Guangdong’s scientific and technological innovation ability is also in a leading position, especially the planning and development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area attaches importance to the layout of artificial intelligence. Up to now, Guangdong Province has successfully identified two batches of 8 parks as "Guangdong Artificial Intelligence Industrial Park". In addition, relying on the important opportunities of national characteristic towns, thousands of enterprises and thousands of towns projects, the Pearl River Delta National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor, Guangdong encourages local cities to speed up the application layout of artificial intelligence industry and build a number of artificial intelligence towns.
    Hangzhou attaches great importance to the basic research of artificial intelligence. The "Xiangyun" DRMS system is the first data resource platform based on artificial intelligence in China. It is a full-volume, real-time "data warehouse" of Hangzhou’s urban data brain, which can provide functions such as real-time data collection, data Rubik’s cube and data governance, and creatively apply artificial intelligence to data exchange, sharing and opening. Driven by leading enterprises such as Alibaba, Netease, zhejiang dahua, Hikvision and Straight Flush, Hangzhou has formed a number of distinctive applications in smart cities, finance and other fields. In addition, Hangzhou actively builds an artificial intelligence industrial cluster, taking Hangzhou High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Hangzhou Chengxi Science and Technology Innovation Corridor as the core, optimizing the layout of the city’s artificial intelligence industrial structure and realizing orderly competition and dislocation development.
    3. Market demand and scale of AI
    China’s artificial intelligence industry focuses on diversified application scenarios. Under the guidance of China’s national conditions and market demand, it aims at the practical needs of intelligent transformation and upgrading in transportation, medical care, finance, security and other fields, and focuses on selecting one or several key areas for key layout, focusing on the whole life cycle of big data in the industry, and taking the lead in promoting commercialization by optimizing scene design. In recent years, the competitive situation of differentiation and regionalization has attracted a large number of emerging artificial intelligence enterprises in China, which has promoted the continuous outbreak of China’s industrial scale.
    According to the statistics of Gaozhan think tank, the scale of China’s artificial intelligence industry reached 8.31 billion US dollars in 2018, and by 2019, the industrial scale exceeded 10 billion US dollars, reaching 10.55 billion US dollars. Among them, the industrial scale of AI basic layer, technology layer and application layer reached 1.99 billion US dollars, 3.06 billion US dollars and 5.5 billion US dollars respectively. Driven by policies and markets to accelerate the implementation of a new generation of artificial intelligence application scenarios, it is estimated that the industrial scale will approach 30 billion US dollars in 2022.
    Chart: The scale of artificial intelligence industry in China from 2015 to 2019 (USD 100 million)
    Source: Gaozhan think tank
    4. Number of AI enterprises
    According to the statistics of Gaozhan think tank, by the end of 2019, there were 779 artificial intelligence enterprises in China, accounting for 21.9% of the total number of artificial intelligence enterprises in the world, second only to the United States. In terms of the distribution of start-up time, the establishment time of artificial intelligence enterprises in China concentrated in 2010-2016, accounting for 67.3%, and reached its peak in 2015, and the number of enterprises established in 2016-2019 gradually declined.
    Chart: Time distribution of artificial intelligence enterprises in China as of 2019.
    Source: Gaozhan think tank
    In terms of geographical distribution of enterprises, artificial intelligence enterprises in China are mainly concentrated in the three metropolitan areas of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, accounting for 44.8%, 28.7% and 16.9% respectively. Among the provinces and cities, artificial intelligence enterprises are mainly distributed in Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and other places, accounting for 88.4% of the total.
    Chart: Regional distribution of artificial intelligence enterprises in China in 2019
    Source: Gaozhan think tank
    5. Market structure and market share of AI enterprises
    The artificial intelligence application market mainly includes three aspects: computer vision application, speech semantic application and machine learning algorithm platform. Among them, computer vision application scenarios are rich and have great commercial value, and about 40% of artificial intelligence enterprises are concentrated in the field of visual artificial intelligence. According to the statistics of Gaozhan think tank, in 2019, the largest manufacturers in China’s artificial intelligence computer vision application field included Shangtang Technology, Defiance Technology, Yuncong Technology, Yitu Technology, Hikvision, Innovative Qizhi, Smart Eye Technology and Dahua Co., Ltd., accounting for 79.5% in total; The manufacturers occupying the largest market in the field of artificial intelligence speech semantic application include Iflytek, Tulsi and Xiao I.robot, Baidu Net News, Jietong Huasheng, Yunzhisheng, Shenzhou Taiyue, Alibaba Cloud and Spirits, accounting for 39.2% in total; The leaders of artificial intelligence algorithm learning platform include Fourth Paradigm, Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, Tencent Cloud, AWS and Microsoft. The main participants include Merrill Lynch Data, Jinshan Cloud, Jiuzhang Yunji, Intelligence Explorer, Xinghuan Technology, Xinhua III and Neusoft.
    Chart: China artificial intelligence market pattern in 2019