The departure of Li Feifei, Google Cloud AI's leader and chief scientist, and also a major driver of Google AI's China moves, will not change Google's ambitions in the Chinese market, said an industry expert.
The comment came after the U.S. internet giant announced on Tuesday that Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, is to become the chief of Google Cloud AI. He'll succeed Li, who will return to her professorship at Stanford and maintain an advisory role with Google.
Zhang Hong, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday that though Li has been a major driver of Google's China entry, Li's departure will not change Google's China strategy.
One of Li's major pushes during her Google career included the establishment of a Google Beijing AI center in December last year. In January, Google opened a third office in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, to gain a further foothold in the country. The second office is in Shanghai.
"Google's counterparts including Facebook and Amazon have all strived to enter the big market recently, so Google will continue its China strategy for sure to stake out a place," Zhang noted.
Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, set up a subsidiary on May 22 in Shanghai's free trade zone, according to China's National Enterprise Information Publicity System.
"Li joined Google almost two years ago…She has built a tremendous team and together they have innovated and done a remarkable job of accelerating the adoption of AI by developers and Google Cloud customers," according to a Google statement posted on its website on Monday (U.S. time).