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Insider: Rise in the use of generative AI in China shows market vitality

Insider: Rise in the use of generative AI in China shows market vitality
Insider: Rise in the use of generative AI in China shows market vitality


China is leading the world in the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), according to a survey released on Tuesday. Analysts say this suggests the country is making technological advances and there are bright prospects for the domestic AI sector.

According to the report by US AI and analytics software company SAS and Coleman Parkes Research, AI usage among Chinese respondents has increased to 83 percent. The survey targeted 1,600 decision makers in key global markets.

The survey found an increase in the use of generative AI worldwide, with the largest increases in China. Specifically, the adoption rate of generative AI in China was higher than in 16 other countries and regions, surpassing the United States, where only 65 percent of respondents said they use generative AI.

The market size of AI-generated content in China’s e-commerce industry is forecast to triple to reach 1.2 billion yuan ($171.4 million) by 2024. This significant increase shows the growing importance and effectiveness of generative AI tools in increasing brand sales and traffic for e-commerce brands, Wu Bin, CEO of infimind, a Beijing-based AI technology solutions provider in the fashion and e-commerce industry, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Yan Junjie, CEO of Shanghai-based startup MiniMax, told Global Times that the rapid adoption of large language models (LLMs) and enterprise data to develop customized generative AI applications will lead to significant growth in the market. The long-term prospects for generative AI are promising, Yan said.

“As the cost of corporate LLM services continues to fall, we can expect Chinese companies to adopt generative AI at an ever-increasing pace in the coming years,” Yan noted.

A recent UN report showed that China topped the list of patent applications in the field of generative AI over the past decade. Industry insiders said all these signs indicate that China has made great progress in the field of generative AI.

Generative AI has already transformed many business areas in China. Observers say its use is becoming increasingly widespread in various industries, resulting in lower costs and higher revenues.

Looking at specific industries, respondents from TMT, retail, insurance, banking and life sciences report the strongest increase in the use of generative AI.

Generative AI can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Some of the most commonly used generative models today are large language models—like the model that powers ChatGPT, which can create speech and text—and diffusion models, which create images and videos.

Generative AI has come a long way since ChatGPT came on the scene in November 2022. Thanks to its large market size and homegrown innovation, numerous applications for generative AI have emerged in China, including short video creation, e-commerce, and education.

For example, in e-commerce and short video platforms, generative AI can provide exceptional levels of personalization and enable more dynamic and efficient content creation.

Last week, a report by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization showed that China is leading the race for generative patents, filing more than 38,000 patents between 2014 and 2023, while the U.S. filed 6,276 patents during the same period. The biggest patent filers in China include TikTok owner ByteDance, Tencent, Ping An Insurance Group and Baidu.

Generative AI is driving economic growth. A 2023 report by McKinsey estimates that generative AI will add $4.4 trillion in value to the global economy annually. This would increase AI’s impact by 15 to 40 percent. According to another recent report on China, McKinsey predicted that generative AI is expected to make a significant contribution to the Chinese economy, with the potential to contribute up to $2 trillion to GDP. This is part of a broader $6 trillion economic impact expected from AI in China.