Huawei Technologies and Hikvision Digital Technology have been nominated by Beijing as national champions in artificial intelligence (AI), among the latest batch of firms tasked to spearhead efforts in that field.
China aims to advance AI development in the country, with the goal of closing the AI tech gap with the US by 2030.
Huawei will take the lead in the research on AI infrastructure and software. Hikvision will cover initiatives related to video perception.
The addition of the two tech giants, however, has come amid trade tensions between China and the US, and has led Washington to put the telecoms gear maker on its trade blacklist.
Other companies involved in this project include Hong Kong-listed smartphone vendor Xiaomi Corp, which will focus on smart home ware; e-commerce company JD.com, on smart supply chain; and internet security company Qihoo 360 Technology, handling online safety.
Facial recognition start-ups Megvii and Yitu were tasked to cover the areas of image perception and image computing, respectively.
In 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology outlined 17 key areas as priorities for AI development, and called on Chinese hi-tech companies and research institutions to take part in the national efforts.
China’s focus on AI coincides with the full embrace of facial recognition in the county’s public security interest.