The start-ups at the forefront of China’s AI dominance

Almost two years have passed since Eric Schmidt addressed the audience at an Artificial Intelligence conference in Washington and touched upon China’s technological credentials and more importantly their innovative potential for the future.

Schmidt, former executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company indicated that, “By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI”

The speech suggested that unfamiliar waters beckoned for the US, and their title as global pioneers in technological innovation was under threat.

Schmidt wasn’t wrong, China has gone on to develop technology hubs in high-powered cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, that will in the not too distance future rival Silicon Valley and has already placed a great deal of emphasis on becoming the first global superpower for Artificial Intelligence.

As part of this goal, China has set themselves a target of building a $1 trillion AI industry by the year 2030 and have seen investors committing $4.5 billion into over 200 Chinese AI companies in a five-year period between 2012 – 2017.

With this in mind, we thought we’d highlight some of the brightest and biggest AI start-ups currently functioning in China.


A global powerhouse within the AI industry that focuses on developing technologies that advance the world’s economies, society and humanity to create a better tomorrow.

In six short years, SenseTime has made many technological breakthroughs, one being the first-ever computer system in the world that can achieve a higher detection accuracy than the human eye.

2017 saw them provide the cutting-edge technology used for face unlocking software for smartphone brands like OPPO. Which gave Chinese smartphone brands the platform to stand tall in the international arena.

Currently, SenseTime mostly has offices in the Far East, but it’s only a matter of time until we see a SenseTime office opening in the UK.

UBTECH Robotics

Founded in 2012, UBTECH focuses on humanoid robotics.

Their vision is a world where intelligent robots are integrated into the daily lives of everyone. UBTECH hopes this will help create a better way of life.

The interactive robots that UBTECH develop serve the public, accelerate STEM education for children, and assist and entertain in the home.

UBTECH place a large emphasis on the role robots can play in education. Whether that is robots who can serve as a teaching assistant, student’s learning companion or as a teaching tool as part of the curriculum.

How long will it be before we see a UBTECH robot in a London classroom?


Taking the world of AI by storm is Beijing based start-up Megvii who create artificial intelligence products and solutions that will benefit the public.

Interestingly Megvii is using their wealth of experience and expertise in AI technology to create sustainable solutions that will have a positive impact on the world.


Since being established in 2012, Mobvoi’s primary focus has been on voice AI solutions and hardware-software integrations in both B2B and  B2C AI-based products.

Mobvoi has developed and progressed rapidly in recent years and now supplies products to more than 40 countries and regions.

Like the other AI companies listed in this article, Mobvoi’s main aim is to create a more natural and easier way for people to interact with machines.

From fit-tech watches to air-pod like headphones, Mobvoi has harnessed the power of AI to create products that all ages can enjoy.


The largest Al + Education company in the world, Liulishuo has developed the first-ever ‘AI English Teacher’ which through deep learning strategies can offer a personalised and adaptive learning path for every user.

So far, the businesses flagship mobile app has more than 60 million registered users and over 600,000 paid users from across 175 countries around the world.

If your business is looking to expand into the UK market, why not get in touch with us to find out how we could help.

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