situation report

China: Beijing's National AI Initiative Now Includes Huawei and Hikvision

1 MIN READAug 30, 2019 | 20:26 GMT

What Happened: The Chinese government has added 10 companies, including Huawei and Hikvision, to its national campaign to develop artificial intelligence, the South China Morning Post reported Aug. 30. Under the plan, Huawei will lead the research on AI infrastructure and software, while Hikvision will cover initiatives related to video perception.

Why It Matters: By tapping additional private companies to take the lead in AI development, Beijing is likely trying to bolster its "Made in China 2025" program, which aims to reduce China's reliance on Western technologies. Momentum for that program had slowed in the face of U.S. demands that China curtail its state-led industrial policy as part of a trade deal. 

Background: Beijing rolled out the national AI initiative in 2017. Since then, China has tapped a total of 15 national firms to spearhead the country's domestic tech development, including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

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