China's State Council issued a guideline for the development of the country's information technology industry. The State Council expects China's IT industry to reach 6 trillion yuan ($901 billion) in value by 2020, based on an average annual growth rate of 11 percent. The report includes references to nascent developments in e-commerce, robotics, and artificial intelligence as well as technology for traditional industries including medicine and education.
LinkedIn has joined the conversation on China's AI industry--and it isn't as bullish as other recent reports. Their survey of the global AI talent scene (in Chinese) reveals that in terms of personnel working in AI and the experience they have, China lags far further behind than many had imagined.
China-based AI chip startup Cambricon Technologies has newly raised US$100 million in series A round funding to support its development of advanced AI chips, which is expected to help turn the company into a tech unicorn with over US$1 billion in valuation in the near future, according to company sources. The funding was led by SDIC Chuangye Investment Management, a subsidiary of China's State Development and Investment Corporation, with prominent investors including Alibaba, Lenovo, robot maker Zhongke Tuling Century Beijing Technology, and the investment arm of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), among others.
China Life Insurance Group Co and Baidu Inc will form a 7 billion yuan ($1 billion) private equity fund, targeting Internet and other technology investments, China Life's listed arm said on Thursday. The Baidu Fund Partnership will be capitalized by China Life through a special partnership, which will contribute up to 5.6 billion yuan, China Life said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange statement. Baidu, the Chinese language internet search provider, will contribute as much as 1.4 billion yuan. The Baidu Fund Partnership will focus on middle to later stage investment, including unlisted companies with "significant association" with China, in the Internet sector, including mobile internet, artificial intelligence, and Internet finance, the statement said.
Baidu's vice president, as well as head of Baidu's AI department Wang Haifeng, will serve as director of Baidu Research Institute. With Wang's increased dominance in Baidu's AI arm, Baidu's Artificial Intelligence Group (AIG) will strengthen R&D on the AI application technology for commercial use, including autonomous driving and airport services.
Sky News has learned that Canyon Bridge Capital Partners has hired advisers from the Wall Street bank Citi to work on an offer for Imagination, one of Britain's leading technology businesses. Sources said that Canyon Bridge had made significant progress during talks with Imagination in recent weeks, with a formal bid expected to be presented to the London-listed group in the next fortnight. They added that talks between Imagination and other unidentified parties were ongoing, and cautioned that Canyon Bridge could yet decide against making a formal bid.
ASML has announced the opening of a new branch office in Nanjing, China where its major client TSMC is constructing a new 12-inch wafer plant. TSMC is on track to complete the construction of its new 12-inch fab in Nanjing, which will directly enter 16nm chip production in 2018. Being among TSMC's major equipment suppliers, ASML will start to supply lithography systems and services to the foundry's new Nanjing facility in September 2017.
Wearable body sensors are becoming the latest "must-have" technology. Now scientists from the Tsinghua University in China report they are using silk to develop a more sensitive and flexible generation of these multi-purpose devices that monitor a slew of body functions in real time. "There is a whole world of possibilities for silk sensors at the moment. Silk is the ideal material for fabricating sensors that are worn on the body," researcher Yingying Zhang said in a statement. The researchers are presenting their work this week at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).