Co-Founder Of China's SenseTime Says AI Development Gap With US Is Closing 

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 11:20 PM

The idea that China will collapse after decades of supergrowth, despite its current challenges with a real estate crisis and a demographic winter, is ridiculous, as the most significant risk to America's big tech empire is the potential failure of US sanctions containing Chinese tech companies. 

Chinese tech giant Huawei is a great example of the 'Made in China' theme ramping up, despite being blacklisted by the US. The company has produced two smartphones, the Mate 60 series and Pura 70 Pro, using advanced domestic chips. These phones have challenged Apple's iPhone dominance in the world's largest handset market. 

On Tuesday, at the UBS Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong, SenseTime Group co-founder Xu Bing told Bloomberg's David Ingles that artificial intelligence chipmakers in China are quickly closing the technological gap versus international players. 

The US Gov't has repeatedly sanctioned SenseTime due to allegations that its facial recognition technology is used in surveillance programs monitoring Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities. These sanctions are primarily aimed at curbing the country's advances in AI. 

"There's a shortage of resources here in Asia in general," Bing told Bloomberg's Ingles, adding, "It's like a 10 times gap of the compute resources that we have here compared to the US leaders. But I think Asian markets never lack talent and never lack data."

Bing pointed out that domestic chip manufacturing is catching up quickly with global competition. He said SenseTime is working with local semiconductor companies to accelerate compute capabilities. 

He did not mention specific companies, but Huawei has emerged in recent quarters as China's saving grace in chip technology development. As we've pointed out, the company has easily navigated US sanctions, advancing its own advanced smartphone processor for its latest handsets. 

Bing wasn't entirely clear how far China lags behind the US in AI development. Bloomberg cites some estimates as 1-3 years. He noted that China's lag in computing power won't be permanent. 

"Compute is a commodity," he said, adding, "In the long run, compute won't be a gap."