China’s AI experience: industrial digitalization

Cover Page

Cite item


The rapid acceleration of scientific and technological progress, which started at the beginning of the 21st century, has become a decisive factor in influencing the global economy. Who will lead the global innovation race? This problem is especially relevant in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). At the moment, the United States and China are the main participants in the battle for dominance in this area. The author assesses China’s innovative potential in the field of AI and identifies its achievements in this area. Based on the statistics provided, China’s AI leadership has reached a critical point. China is confidently leading the new fundamental research of artificial intelligence, forming its theoretical base and applied research and development, which will contribute to the creation of new high-tech innovative products and services. However, in terms of the number and quality of AI specialists (AI Talents) and the number of companies engaged in AI, China is still lagging behind its main rival, namely the United States. The author proved that, despite the obvious successes of China, the United States still has an equal lead in the global innovation race.

About the authors

Marina S. Reshetnikova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Associate Professor of the Economic and Mathematic Modelling Department at Economic Faculty

6 Miklukho-Makalay St, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


  1. AAAI Conferences. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from conferences.php
  2. Artificial intelligence: Implications for China. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from https://
  3. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  4. Băzăvan, A. (2019). Chinese government’s shifting role in the national innovation system. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 148, 119738. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore. 2019.119738.
  5. Bitzinger, R., & Raska, M. (2020). Capacity for Innovation: Technological Drivers of China’s Future Military Modernization. The PLA in the 2025. Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  6. Bostrom, N. (2017). Superintelligence (pp. 176-180). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  7. CB INSIGHTS. (n.d.). The 2018 Global CVC Report 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2020, from
  8. China AI Development Report. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from http://www.sppm.
  9. China National Bureau of Statistics (CNBS). (2019). China Statistical Yearbook. Beijing: China Statistical Press.
  10. Ding, J. (2018). Deciphering China’s AI Dream. The context, components, capabilities, and consequences of China’s strategy to lead the world in AI. Retrieved February 8, 2020, from
  11. Elstrom, P. (2020). Are you a robot? Bloomberg. Retrieved January 20, 2020, from
  12. Fukuyama, F. (2011). Falling behind. New York: Oxford University Press. iiMedia Research Group. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  13. Lai, Y., & Vonortas, N. (2019). Regional entrepreneurial ecosystems in China. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(4), 875-897. doi: 10.1093/icc/dtz035
  14. Lee, K. (2018). AI Superpowers (p. 272). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  15. Liu, P., & Bell, R. (2019). Exploration of the initiation and process of business model innovation of successful Chinese ICT enterprises. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 11(4), 515-536. doi: 10.1108/jeee-09-2018-0094
  16. Ma, G., Roberts, I., & Kelly, G. (2017). Rebalancing China's Economy: Domestic and International Implications. China & World Economy, 25(1), 1-31. doi: 10.1111/cwe.12184.
  17. Qiao, Z., & Li, Z. (2018). Do foreign institutional investors enhance firm innovation in China? Applied Economics Letters, 26(13), 1125-1128. doi: 10.1080/13504851.2018.1540831.
  18. Reshetnikova, M. (2018). Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China. European Research Studies Journal, XXI(3), 506-515. doi: 10.35808/ersj/1079.
  19. Rowley, J. (2020). Chinese Startups Net Smallest Share of Global VC Investment in Years. Retrieved January 10, 2020, from
  20. Sun Hung Kai Properties. (2020). Financial Results & Reports. Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  21. The 2018 Survey: AI and the Future of Humans. (2020). Retrieved February 6, 2020, from
  22. Wagner, H. (2019). On the (Non-)sustainability of China’s Development Strategies. The Chinese Economy, 52(1), 1-23. doi: 10.1080/10971475.2019.1580822.
  23. WIPO Technology Trends 2019 - Artificial Intelligence. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  24. World Internet Development Report 2019. (2020). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from
  25. Zhan, F., Proelss, J., & Schweizer, D. (2020). China: From imitator to innovator? Emerging Markets Review, 100675. doi: 10.1016/j.ememar.2019.100675.

Copyright (c) 2020 Reshetnikova M.S.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies