China's AI unicorns surge to 71

2024-07-03 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- From 2023 to the first quarter of 2024, the number of AI unicorns in China hit 71, according to “the White Paper on the Global Digital Economy 2024” released at the Global Digital Economy Conference 2024 on Tuesday.

Yu Xiaohui, president of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) delivered a keynote speech on the latest trends in the global digital economy and development of AI unicorn businesses in China.

Yu noted the swift growth of the digital economy among major countries. In 2023, the combined digital economies of the U.S., China, Germany, Japan, and South Korea exceeded $33 trillion , an increase of over 8 percent year-on-year, accounting for 60 percent of global GDP, up about 8 percentage points from 2019.

Between 2019 and 2023, the digital economies of the U.S. and China experienced rapid growth, while Germany, Japan, and South Korea saw stable development. The global digital industry is expected to see a rebound in revenue growth from 2024 to 2025, strengthening its development foundation.

In key areas within the digital economy, digital industrialization, industrial digitization, and data elements register advances.

As for digital industrialization, Yu noted the accelerated deployment of 5G networks worldwide and its commercial applications. By March 2024, 301 network operators in 112 countries or regions had launched 5G services. China leads with the largest 5G network, comprising 3.837 million base stations by May 2024.

“AI technology and industry development are progressing rapidly. As of Q1 2024, there were nearly 30,000 AI companies globally, with the U.S. and China accounting for 34 percent and 15 percent respectively. The rising demand for intelligent computing power has made computational resources a strategic asset, attracting much attention.” Yu added.

Moreover, Yu highlighted the ongoing emergence of new models and business forms in industrial digitalization. The digital transformation of traditional industries is deepening, spurring innovation and injecting new growth momentum. The industrial internet sector is anticipated to surpass 1.5 trillion yuan in 2024, growing at around 13 percent.

In data elements, Yu found that nations are enhancing strategic layouts around data, enacting various laws, policies, and plans to balance data development and security. The global construction of data spaces is accelerating, with China tapping into innovative potential to facilitate the removal of digital transformation bottlenecks across various fields such as industry, public, urban, and transaction spaces.

A unicorn is a startup company valued at over $1 billion which is privately owned and not listed on a share market, with some valued over $10 billion.

AI unicorns worldwide have reached 234, an increase of 37. Among them, the United States has 120.

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