(Yicai Global) July 28 -- Total financing in America's artificial intelligence sector totaled USD20.7 billion from 2001 through 2016, making up 71.8 percent of AI financing worldwide, a new report from Chinese digital industry think tank Wuzhen Institute said.
Although China ranks second worldwide with USD2.76 billion, this is only one-seventh of investment in the US, the report said.
AI technology is becoming a key strategic field for both countries and enterprises. Despite possessing great potential for AI development, China's overall strength in the field significantly lags behind the US in terms of both the number of companies and the scale of financing.
The volume of AI companies in China is gradually catching up, though financing remains significantly lower in scale. However, the number of AI-related patents applied for by Chinese companies already outnumbers those in the US.
AI in China has developed most rapidly during the last three years, with new firms formed during that time making up 55.38 percent of the total number of AI companies in China from 2000 through 2016, the report finds. Financing of China's AI companies over the last three years also accounts for 93.59 percent of total domestic financing since 2000.
Regionally, Beijing ranks first in China in terms of new AI companies and financing, representing 50 percent of the country's total financing. Guangdong and Shanghai follow and the three cities are fast becoming hubs for global AI development.
The average single financing amount for AI companies in Beijing and Guangdong is now more than USD10 million.