Ecommerce giant JD.com has chosen Dongguan to build an “artificial intelligence town”. Groundbreaking took place this week on the 1.8 million sqm project, which will be completed in three phases with a total investment of RMB20 billion, according to local media.
Perhaps surprisingly, JD.com did not choose to go into the Songshan Lake hi-tech district, but instead acquired a 380,000 sqm plot in Fenggang for RMB1.06 billion. The so-called JD AI Town aims to become a new “platform” and its focus is the Greater Bay Area. The company says the project will include R&D space, smart manufacturing facilities, and “modern enterprise services”.
It’s not all about business, either. The tech giant pledged RMB1 billion toward building a road network and a wetland park, as part of a government-led effort to create a quality living and working environment in the town. Upon completion, Fenggang will be home to more than 1,000 enterprises from JD’s supply chain and another 1,500 providing auxiliary services.
Huang Dongsheng, JD’s vice president, said the company chose Dongguan for the project because of the municipality’s “manufacturing fundamentals”, which included a fully formed supply chain. JD has in recent years invested heavily in cloud computing, intelligent supply chain, smart logistics, and IoT, and Huang said the company hopes to further strengthen its capabilities so as to help Dongguan become a hub for advanced manufacturing in the GBA.