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This report presents an overview of China’s AI ecosystem, emphasizing policy and governance, ecosystem actors and development, strengths and challenges, and takeaways for Swedish AI actors. The report has been produced by the Stockholm China Economic Research Institute and the Center for Asian Studies at the Stockholm School of Economics and the work has been funded by Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Agency. The purpose of the report is to:

  • Map out and increase the understanding of China’s advancements in AI and its implications for members of the Swedish AI ecosystem

To do this, the report aims to:

  • Examine China’s AI policy framework in terms of scope and implementation
  • Map out the scope of investments, regional AI hubs, leading corporate actors, national actors, and talent and education
  • Identify strengths and challenges for China’s AI ecosystem
  • Discuss opportunities and challenges for members of Sweden’s AI ecosystem

To fulfill the purpose and aims, the report begins with a detailed discussion of how China’s national policy framework has evolved, starting with a comprehensive national strategic plan that was announced in 2017. Here, it also gives insight into how that as well as complementary plans are being implemented and then touches upon the governance framework that has begun to take shape in China.

Moving over to the AI industry, the report provides an overview of investments in the AI space before it examines AI hub development across the country, the Chinese government’s focus on building a national AI team, and other leading players in the corporate sector. This is followed by an overview of government activity and some of the main national actors, after which research, talent, and education are examined.

The report then examines some of the strong points in China’s rapidly evolving AI ecosystem, including the country’s unique socio-political context, a relatively lax regulatory framework, and access to large amounts of data. It then sheds light on some of the challenges China’s AI ecosystem is facing in its future development. These challenges include the demand-supply disparity for AI talent, geopolitical tensions, a lack of domestically developed core technological tools, and the challenge for China to take a leading role in the development of an international AI governance framework.

Finally, the report provides an overview of the opportunities for Swedish AI actors before it highlights some of the challenges that such actors are facing if they decide to expand their business activities to China.

Report Author: Anders C. Johansson, Director, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute and Co-Director, Center for Asian Studies, Stockholm School of Economics

Please read the full report here. 


Seminar "China's AI Ecosystem", November 30, 2022