Chinese city of Tianjin to set up S$21 billion fund for artificial intelligence industry

An aerial view of residential buildings in Tianjin in a photo taken on May 10, 2018.
An aerial view of residential buildings in Tianjin in a photo taken on May 10, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's northern port city of Tianjin announced plans on Thursday (May 17) to set up funds worth 100 billion yuan (S$21 billion) to support the artificial intelligence industry, official news agency Xinhua said.

China aims to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2025, taking on US dominance in the sector amid heightened international tension over military applications of the technology.

Tianjin will pour the funds into developing sectors such as intelligent robots and hardware and software. It will also set aside 30 billion yuan in a sub-fund for intelligent devices and intelligent upgrades for traditional industries.

Sun Wenkui, vice mayor of Tianjin, pledged financial support of up to 30 million yuan for each scientific research institution, whether a provincial- or national-level body, that sets up in Tianjin.

Tianjin will also set up a separate fund worth 10 billion yuan to promote intelligent manufacturing, Xinhua added, but did not specify a timetable for setting up the fund.