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China pledges to attract global talent and venture capital in bid to accelerate technology push

Monday, March 5, 2018

(SCMP by Meng Jing/Zen Soo) - China has pledged to accelerate its efforts to surpass the US in advanced technologies from artificial intelligence (AI) to robotics by wooing overseas talent and venture capital investment.

The government will do more to implement its innovation-driven development strategy to make the country more “innovative and competitive”, Premier Li Keqiang said in his annual speech at the National People’s Congress, where he laid out the priorities for 2018. Among the tech-related initiatives include the fast-tracking of bringing in overseas talent and more tax incentives for venture capital investment.

Li mentioned the terms “internet Plus” – the strategy of harnessing the internet to upgrade the country’s economy – and “innovation” several times during his speech. “The latest global revolution in science and technology and industrial transformation are trends we must be on board with”, he said.

The pledge comes amid China’s renewed efforts to transform itself from the factory floor of the world into a global innovation powerhouse and echoes President Xi Jinping at the 19th Communist Party Congress, where he listed the internet, big data and AI in his keynote address.

China has set itself a target to become a worldwide AI leader by 2030.

“In the global race of scientific and technological innovation, China has shifted place, from following others to keeping pace and even leading the pack in more areas,” said Li, who as premier heads the State Council, or cabinet.


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