SenseTime, MiniMax Among Hundreds of AI Firms to Move Into China's First LLM Developer Hub
Liu Xiaojie
DATE:  Apr 24 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
SenseTime, MiniMax Among Hundreds of AI Firms to Move Into China's First LLM Developer Hub SenseTime, MiniMax Among Hundreds of AI Firms to Move Into China's First LLM Developer Hub

(Yicai) April 24 -- The Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center, the country's first industry hub for developers of large language models, has attracted renowned artificial intelligence firms such as SenseTime Group and startups such as MiniMax to settle in among the hundreds of residents.

More than 60 LLM startups and over 200 firms along the industry chain have joined the hub, located in Xuhui district, since it was established last September, Yicai learned yesterday. Even the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which cooperates with Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, is present.

Big Dreams

The goal is to have 100,000 square meters of office space, attract hundreds of innovative enterprises, and achieve thousands of industry applications and an industry scale of CNY1 trillion (USD138 billion), said Chen Haici, general manager of the project operator.  

The administrator hopes to ensure the supply of all the necessary tools for resident AI enterprises by creating platforms to schedule computing power usage, as well as provide them with open data, evaluation, and financial services.

Shanghai offers a more appropriate environment for innovative enterprises than any other city in China due to the convergence of resources such as capital, information, and application scenarios, Chen said, adding that the eastern city is also advantageous for enterprises with global market aspirations due to a more flexible market mechanism plus its proximity to overseas markets.

Training LLMs is costly so the hub has gathered 41 investment institutions to provide startups with funding support. 

"Whether it's a seed round, an angel round, or a later-stage private equity funding and initial public offering, there will always be financial institutions waiting at the gate to provide services," Chen said.

Since nearly half of AI companies' funding is allocated to buying computing power, it is crucial to help them cut such costs. In addition to the provision of computing power and data services, the hub gives firms subsidies to help them improve their cash flows, per the GM.

Companies that reside in the community are all along the LLM industrial chain, which results in a vital industrial ecosystem that is better than anywhere else, per Chen.  

As of Feb. 29, 15 resident companies had registered their LLMs. The center is quickly becoming a hotspot for China’s AI community, the GM concluded

Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine 

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Keywords:   Comprehensive Service,Industry Start-ups Community,R&D,AI Model and Application,Foundation Model,Large Language Model,Shanghai,SMC,Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center