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China's AI Strategy: Profit-Driven Industrial Revolution

We uncover how China plans to use AI to escape economic stagnation

The US media often gets caught up in self-centered narratives, but we firmly believe that learning about global AI affairs, cultural nuances, and political variations can benefit us and our readers a lot.

In today's edition, we offer a comprehensive analysis of the latest developments in Chinese AI, accompanied by notable highlights from Generative AI events held in China during the third and fourth quarters of 2023.


It has been more than six months since we covered the first half of AI developments in China in 2023. Since then, there has been a discernible decrease in the novelty of LLMs among the Chinese populace. As the initial excitement surrounding AI diminishes in China, media discussions about which LLM will rise to the top have also subsided. 

The competition appears to have shifted from a well-publicized race amongst established firms to a more discreet battle – determined not within the countless tabs of one’s work computer, but upon the polished floors of Chinese factories. 

The surge of new entrants into the field has resulted in experts dubbing 2023 as the year in which “one hundred flowers bloomed” in AI. This influx, coupled with the understanding that the true measure of AI lies in its capacity for ongoing application and improvement rather than its use as an immediate, one-time solution, indicates that the journey ahead may be more of a marathon than a sprint.

AI as a “New Productive Force” in Upstream Industries

Chinese decision-makers appear to have acknowledged AI's potential as an enduring, self-learning asset and have sought to redirect the discourse accordingly. This shift veers away from public-facing and potentially politically sensitive LLMs and instead directs attention towards areas where AI can offer efficiency-enhancing analysis for industrial systems. The hubbub surrounding the Chinese Communist Party’s most recent slogan: “New Productive Forces,” points directly at AI’s use cases in “supporting developing sectors and industries including electric vehicles, new materials, commercial spaceflight, quantum technology, and life sciences,” as we’ll see in some examples below.

The rest, including the analysis of strategic AI shifts in China, leveraging AI for economic revitalization, and the potential to overcome the middle-income trap with green tech innovations, is available for our Premium subscribers only

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Previously in the Global AI Affair series:


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