A bicyle that uses AI and lidar sensors to help riders avoid crashes and ride more carefully is under development at Huawei, the GBA tech giant headquartered in Shenzhen. But it wasn’t a product that came out of the company’s regular R&D department. According to local media, the bike, which will cost around 10,000 yuan when launched, was designed by a recent university graduate who came up through Huawei’s youth-development program.
Referred to by local media as “Huawei’s boy wonder”, Jun Zhihui graduated from the University of Electronic Science and Technology, in Chengdu, Sichuan, in 2018. After a few years kicking around, which included a stint at smartphone maker Oppo, based in Dongguan, Jun joined Huawei’s “Talented Youth Project” last year and had been engaged as an AI systems architect.
The bike apparently allows for full self-riding, which is hard to imagine, because of the obvious ease of falling off a two-wheeler when its onboard computer decides to change direction. But in its description, the bike is more realistically useful for collision avoidance and route planning. It might also help to have an “auto-follow” function that allows for the bike to come to its owner, rather like Tesla’s “summons” feature.
The Greater Bay Area’s artificial intelligence (AI) industry is expected to be worth more than RMB50 billion by the end of this year, accounting for more than 30% of the country’s market. Continue reading AI industry booming in GBA→
IPOs coming: Among the 122 companies that have applied for IPOs on Shanghai’s new tech board, 17 are from Guangdong, behind Beijing (26), Jiangsu (21) and Shanghai (18). Of the southerners, Shenzhen supplied nine, Guangzhou four, Meizhou two, and one each from Foshan and Huizhou. Read more.
Environmental injunction: A court in Zhuhai has allowed the province’s first injunction against a project on a claim of potential environmental damage. Read more.
U.S. Deals: Guangdong Vice Governor Ouyang Weimin recently led an economic and trade mission of more than 40 companies to Mexico and the U.S., where 13 new investment projects were signed for an undisclosed amount. Read more.
New route: The Boshen Highway that goes from Huizhou’s Boluo county (博罗) to Shenzhen’s Longgang district will be connected with the Conghua/Dongguan Highway via a Qingxi sideline in the Dongguan section. Got all that? Basically, it adds an alternative route between Dongguan and Shenzhen. Read more .
Hydrogen cars: Foshan will see 1,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles hit the roads this year and will build 30 hydrogen-recharging stations. In Q1, RMB50 billion has been invested here in the hydrogen energy industry, already 41.17% of the total that was invested in 2018. Read more.
Smarter Shenzhen: The city will increase its financial investment in higher education to RMB18 billion this year, 28.57% up on last year, third-fastest in the country behind Beijing and Shanghai. According to Shenzhen Education Bureau, the city is exploring how to “improve the investment mechanism on higher education”. Read more .
AI Cometh: China’s artificial intelligence industry is expected to grow by six times its current size to reach US$11.9 billion in 2023. To date, 19 provinces have issued 26 AI-related policies to boost its development across smart manufacturing, fintech, digital contents, new media, new retail and smart security. Read more .
Water-pollution cleanup: Shenzhen will issue a RMB16 billion bond, with half to be used in water pollution treatment projects in the Bao’an district and most of the rest on river-water pollution control projects in the Longgang district. Read more .
Konka Going to Chongqing: Shenzhen-based Konka Group is planning to build a RMB30 billion semiconductor and photoelectric industrial park in Chongqing with investment of up to RMB7.5 billion in the project’s first phase. Read more.
LG in OLED Project: LG Display, the world’s largest LCD panel maker from South Korea, has begun construction of an OLED panel production plant in Guangzhou, making it the first large-sized OLED panel production line in China. The first phase will cost RMB46 billion, producing larger TV displays. It will be LG’s third production line in Guangzhou. Read more
Prices Spike: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped to 2.7% nationwide in May, mainly due to surge in food costs. Although this was the largest increase since February 2018, it was still lower than the government’s price-regulation target of 3%. The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.6% YoY. Read more.
The provincial capital is raising the bar for other Greater Bay Area cities, rolling out incentives for Hong Kong and Macau youth to live and work in Guangzhou. These include a RMB1 billion seeding fund, apartments, and other subsidies under a new program that will launch this weekend.
The key focus of the plan is to “encourage innovation and entrepreneurship”. The city government will build 10 innovation and entrepreneurship bases over the next three years, supported by more than 1,000 apartments, all underpinned by a RMB1 billion investment fund. Young talents from the two SARs can enjoy free company registrations, discounted office rents and a bunch of other support services at these venues.
Cold hard cash will be up for grabs, too. Subsidies for individuals of up to RMB200,000 per year will be available; for partnerships it will rise to RMB300,000 per person; and for enterprises it can rise as high as RMB3 million per company. Moreover, loans of up to RMB5 million per project will be offered.
That is not all. Talented youth who don’t feel terribly entrepreneurial just yet but would like a career to start, worry no more: Guangzhou will provide around 2,000 internship opportunities in the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, autonomous vehicles, finance and government-related institutions.
Did we hear you say tax exemptions? Of course, those will be on offer, too. Details to come.
It is useless to resist: Shenzhen has released a five-year plan to develop the next generation of artificial intelligence. In the process, the 40-year-old city will position itself as a hub of innovation in AI and will establish 10 targeted industrial clusters with a total value of RMB30 billion by 2023.
According to local media, Shenzhen plans to develop an “all-rounded AI innovation system”. It will focus on six areas: frontline basic research, smart products, technology implementation, infrastructure, talent management, risk management, and legislation.
But this is not being done for selfish reasons. It is to “support the Greater Bay Area to become the center of technology innovation and the pilot of AI implementation”. Along the way, Shenzhen will build a Greater Bay Area AI Open Innovation platform and become a “smart city” by applying AI technology from industrial fields like manufacturing and business to “fields of everyday life” like healthcare, education, and merchandising.
The government will also strengthen its legislative foundations for the industry and build a robust regulatory system to “protect data safety and personal privacy”.
Zhaoqing is one of the least developed cities in the GBA cluster. Which is obviously just right for the world’s biggest software company.
Microsoft launched a cloud and mobile application incubation platform in Zhaoqing this week, dubbed “Unicorn Field”. It will apparently “leverage the advantages in terms of R&D by being located in Zhaoqing, while being well-integrated into high-tech and strategic emerging industries such as intelligent manufacturing, energy conservation, environmental protection and electric vehicles.”
The incubator will focus on cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence and 5G. Innovators will get start-up space, shared facilities, technical services, consulting services, investment and financing, entrepreneurship guidance, and resource exchanges.
This is all assuming Microsoft isn’t told by the US government to stop selling its services to anyone else in China besides Huawei, of course.
Zhaoqing is about an hour from Guangzhou South Station by high-speed railway. Which means it is around two hours from Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Station.
Tencent has planted its flag firmly in Zhuhai. One of the country’s leading technology groups, headquartered across the Bay in Shenzhen, apparently sees some potential in the coastal city. It has not chosen the Hengqin New Area, however, for its new cloud computing base, but rather than Xiangzhou district, which is the political, financial and cultural center of Zhuhai.
Tencent has committed to the city that its new cloud base will draw from the resources of its AI-led ecosystem to not only build a number of innovation centers but also training centers. A spokesperson at the Xiangzhou government said that Tencent’s cloud will help form an emerging industrial cluster of artificial intelligence and boost the city’s overall business environment.
Scientific research institutions from Hong Kong and Macau are now eligible for research funding granted by Guangdong and may use them in the SARs, according to a report in China Daily Hong Kong.
Previously, institutions from the two special administrative regions had to form joint ventures with other mainland institutions or set up branches in Guangdong.
Under the new three-year pilot scheme, which was unveiled this week, two institutions from Hong Kong and Macau will enjoy equal rights with their counterparts in Guangdong in competition for a total of RMB500 million (US$74.2 million) in funding and key sci-tech projects supported by the province.
The policy also encourages cooperation in key fields identified by the Greater Bay Area masterplan, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.