Shenzhen leads GBA’s AI thrust

Shenzhen has the highest potential for developing an AI industry in the GBA, followed by Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan and Huizhou, according to Guangdong’s leading media group.

Shenzhen’s AI industry ranks third nationally, behind Beijing and Shanghai, in terms of current capability and future development potential of AI, according to the report, published by Nanfang Daily in early December. 

The city’s AI companies are clustered in the Nanshan district, centred on the Yuehai Hi-Tech Park, the birthplace of tech giants including Tencent and DJI. Among interviewed AI enterprises with over 1 billion in revenue based in the GBA, 63% have landed in Shenzhen, according to the report.

Guangzhou has AI laboratories established in two universities – Sun Yat-sen University and South China University of Technology – as well as a few research platforms set to facilitate industry-university cooperation with Guangzhou-based companies including voice recognition startup iFlytek and facial recognition startup CloudWalk Technology. 

Catching up fast is the Nansha district. The national-level New Area has been designated a fintech and scientific research hub. Its AI industry took off only in 2016, surging to a total value of 2.4 billion yuan so far. But by the end of next year, it is expected to be generating 30 billion yuan in annual output.

Hong Kong has potential, given its status as Asia’s global financial centre, the report says, highlighting the eight virtual bank licenses awarded earlier this year. Most banks in Hong Kong are applying AI to their business, the report finds.

Macau, meanwhile, has the potential to become a leading “smart city” with cloud computing and AI technology applied to traffic management, tourism and city administration, the report says.

With the second largest scale of integrated circuit business in the Pearl River Delta area, Zhuhai is expected to inject its strength to both research and application levels of AI, reads the report. Foshan, Dongguan and Huizhou, as manufacturing bases for the GBA, are set to become the test fields for smart manufacturing.

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