Country achieves crucial technological breakthroughs

2024-01-05 08:24:33China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Huawei displays its Pangu pre-trained deep learning AI model in Shanghai in July. (CHEN YUYU/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Companies eager to cash in on AI to boost global competitiveness

Yu Zhongyuan, a 59-year-old businessman engaged in foreign trade in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, is a loyal user of Huawei Technologies Co's smartphones.

But he never expected the company's phone business to spring back to life so quickly.

After being subject to technology restrictions imposed by the United States government for four years, Huawei made a high-profile comeback to the 5G smartphone arena last year.

The company surprised the world with its Mate 60 series of smartphones, which are equipped with chips that support 5G technology. The phones made headlines worldwide and triggered an enthusiastic response from Chinese consumers.

Yu said: "Having witnessed Huawei emerge stronger from mounting challenges, I am confident that China's technology industry can overcome any future difficulties. This is a symbolic moment."

The recovery in Huawei's smartphone business offers an insight into how China's innovation-driven economy is scrambling to achieve breakthroughs in crucial technologies through long-term input into research and development, and by using a robust industrial support system.

Officials, company executives and experts said that despite geopolitical uncertainties and lackluster global demand, Chinese companies are eager to ride the latest technological wave, which includes artificial intelligence, or AI, to sharpen their global competitiveness and strengthen the security of key industrial chains.

The past year has seen innovation helping to set milestones in China's manufacturing industry.

The first commercial flight of the C919, China's self-developed large passenger aircraft, took off last year. The nation's first domestically produced large cruise ship, Adora Magic City, was delivered, and China surpassed Japan to become the world's largest exporter of automobiles.

Meanwhile, with AI set to unleash enormous potential in reshaping the world, Chinese companies are coming up with new applications to rival ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by the US company OpenAI, which has taken the world by storm. Such progress was made despite Washington's restrictions on exports of high-end AI chips to Beijing, the officials, company executives and experts said.

Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce, said, "Some countries attempted to contain China's economic development by promoting decoupling, but our progress proved that their efforts have failed."

China boasts the world's most complete industrial system, and its highly efficient industrial clusters, with close upstream and downstream connections, make Chinese companies extremely competitive on the global stage, Wei said.

"Meanwhile, China's development in high-tech sectors has promoted development of its digital economy. The nation is now closely intertwined with other countries in high-tech industries," said Wei, who is also vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Data from the World Intellectual Property Organization show that China is now home to 24 of the world's top 100 science and technology innovation clusters, making it the country with the most such clusters.


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