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Microsoft revs up AI in Nansha district | Updated:2017-05-04

Microsoft is gearing up to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) arm, teaming up with Guangzhou's Nansha development zone and Hong Kong-based HeungKong Group on May 3.

The agreement, signed in the Guangdong capital, was attended by Guangzhou Vice-Mayor Cai Chaolin, Microsoft Vice-President Sandy Gupta, and Zhai Meiqing, president of HeungKong Group.


Guangzhou Vice-Mayor Cai Chaolin holds a talk with an official of Microsoft in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. [Photo/]

The US company plans to establish its Microsoft Cloud & Mobile Technology Incubator, introducing well-known unicorn companies – startups valued at over $1 billion (6.87 billion yuan) – and at least 50 innovative and entrepreneurial groups.

Microsoft chose Nansha district to be home of its first incubator in Guangzhou, sighting its potential in the fields of AI, cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT).

Microsoft is building accelerators and incubators worldwide, and has won the title of China's best incubator for the past three years, helping more than 100 startups nationwide.

Around 93 percent of those companies have received first-round financing, with an estimated value of 39.5 billion yuan. Bike-sharing startup Mobike and Shenzhen-based AI startup Malong Technologies have benefited from Microsoft incubators in recent years.

The Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone Nansha Area has great potential in developing high-end manufacturing, said Sandy Gupta, adding, the new incubator will boost the Belt and Road Initiative.

Some experts believe Nansha could grow into a global hub for AI.


Hong Kong-based HeungKong Group has built several startups in Guangzhou's Nansha district. [Photo/]


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