context: AI has dominated ICT news since Google’s AlphaGo beat go player Ke Jie 柯洁 in May 2017. Central growth targets issued in July 2017 have caused firms to praise their wares, local government to issue ambitious plans and investments to pick up. This frenzy will generate short-term results, with the usual risks of waste, repetition and low-end overcapacity.

Local governments are rolling out support for artificial intelligence (AI), reports Iyiou Think Tank, listing local growth targets, guidance funds, plans to attract talent and preferential policies such as rent and tax exemptions (see below). Investment is also speeding up, adds Academy of Prospective Industries. Between 2010 and September 2017, 2,744 investments worth 86.17 bn occurred, of which 701 investments were worth 34.5 bn (Note: 40 percent) in Q3 2017. Citing a much higher number, China Academy of ICT (CAICT) puts AI investments in 2017 at 180 bn (Note: this exceeds the 150 bn value of core AI industries that State Council set for 2020). CAICT further predicts AI market growth, estimating

  • 8 percent in 2017, reaching 21.9 bn
  • 3 percent in 2018, reaching 33.9 bn
  • 5 percent in 2019, reaching 50 bn
  • 42 percent in 2020, reaching 71bn

Note: the tables below relate to local plans for AI industry scale and guidance funds and are based on Iyiou data, amended with Academy of Prospective Industries’ report.

Industry scale

announced agency industry scale by
aug 2017 Anhui province 13 bn value of core industries

45 bn value of related industries

2020
sep 2017 Nanjing development zone 50 bn corporate revenue 2020
oct 2017 Beijing Zhongguancun zone 50 bn value of core industries

500 bn value of related industries

2020
nov 2017 Shanghai city 100 bn value of core industries 2020
dec 2017 Zhejiang province 50 bn value of core industries

500 bn value of related industries

2022
dec 2017 Shanghai Xuhui district 30 bn industry cluster 2020
jan 2018 Nanjing city 30 bn value of core industries

300 bn value of related industries

2025
jan 2018 Jilin province 20 bn value of core industries

200 bn value of related industries

2025
jan 2018 Liaoning province 40 bn value of core industries

400 bn value of related industries

2030
jan 2018 Guangzhou city 120 bn industry value 2020

 

Guidance funds

announced agency support and guidance funds
feb 2016 Guizhou province commission of economy and IT invest 500 million until 2018
mar 2017 Suzhou industry park set up a 10 bn industry development fund until 2020
may 2017 Changzhou municipality science and education city set up a 200 million industry fund
jul 2017 Hangzhou municipality future sci-tech city industry project subsidy up to 8 million; R&D subsidy up to 6 million
august 2017 Tianjin municipality 50,000 to 2 million per project
sep 2017 Nanjing municipality development zone set up 8 bn in venture capital funds by 2020
oct 2017 Jiangxi province lure SOEs with 100 million in capital
nov 2017 Shanghai Yangpu district leading firms up to 5 million; platform firms up to 10 million; key labs 6 million
nov 2017 Wuhan Donghu HIDZ 200 million yearly for industry development
nov 2017 Chongqing city attract 100 bn in social capital by 2020
dec 2017 Shanghai city commission of economy and IT support projects that did not get municipal funding through other channels
jan 2018 Tianjin city support districts and zones to set up AI industry funds
jan 2018 Guangzhou city 10 bn industry funds; encourage districts and zones to set up dedicated funds