In 2018, the AI market in China hit 33.9 billion yuan, up 52.8% year-on-year, according to a report. Illustration.

The market scale of artificial intelligence in China is expected to reach 71 billion yuan ($10.3 billion) in 2020, the Internet Society of China said on Thursday.

The ISC report predicted that the market scale of AI in China will reach 50 billion yuan in 2019, China Daily reported.

In 2018, the AI market in China hit 33.9 billion yuan, up 52.8% year-on-year, according to the report.

The global market share of China’s AI industry expanded to 12.56% in 2018 from 9.41% in 2017.

As of the end of 2018, China had 3,341 AI enterprises, accounting for more than one-fifth of the world’s total 15,916 AI firms.

The report said China’s cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things markets grew to 90.7 billion yuan, 540.5 billion yuan and 1.2 trillion yuan, respectively, in 2018.

According to IDC, computer vision applications took the largest share in China’s AI market with US$750 million in 2018, while security and surveillance and facial recognition in finance were the two most common scenarios in which AI-related technologies had been used, KrASIA reported.

A recent study by Boston Consulting Group, labelled Mind the (AI) Gap: Leadership Makes the Difference, focused on the key drivers of success in AI implementations, and was based on a global survey of over 2,700 managers in seven countries, according to Forbes.

The study found that there is a strong connection between bold, disruption-friendly management styles including actively putting AI high on the agenda, encouraging rapid development and piloting, and fostering cross-functional, agile R&D, all leading to AI industry leadership, the report said.

Chinese organizations are beginning to dominate AI due to these factors combined with their shorter innovation cycles than their peer organizations.

BCG also found that structural improvements at the national level do play an important role in laying the foundations for AI growth—investments in data infrastructure, in research hubs and networks, and higher education for IT and data-related fields.

Meanwhile, China remains the world’s largest buyer of industrial robots for the sixth straight year in 2018, despite a dip in purchases from the previous year, Caixin reported.

The country bought 135,000 robots used across industries such as electronics and automobiles, down 3.8% from 2017, according to a report released by the China Robot Industry Alliance.

China has been on a robot buying binge in recent years as it looks to take the lead in the field as part of the government’s “Made in China 2025” initiative, a grand plan to upgrade the country’s economy to produce more advanced technologies, the report said.

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