(Yicai Global) May 22 -- Alibaba Holding Group Ltd. has teamed up with SenseTime Group Ltd., the world's most valuable artificial intelligence startup, to set up a new artificial intelligence lab in Hong Kong in a bid to promote AI innovation between mainland China and the special administrative region.
The Hong Kong Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is the first major move following the Chinese government's announcement of new policies to develop Hong Kong into a global innovation base, online news journal Leiphone reported. Government-backed tech incubator Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp. is also a partner in the new project.
The HKAI Lab will support local research talent and share more of the mainland's smart computing technologies and application scenarios with them to provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchange. It kicked off operations by launching an accelerator program designed to cultivate more AI startups in Hong Kong.
One of a group of unicorns leading China's AI charge, Beijing-based SenseTime recently became the world's highest valued AI startup after funding led by the country's largest e-commerce operator Alibaba. The two are also partnering on a smart city program, while Hangzhou-based Alibaba is forging ahead with a number of its own AI initiatives.
The announcement about the creation of HKAI Lab comes a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for enhanced collaboration between the mainland and Hong Kong to help turn the special administrative region into an international innovation hub.
Xi's support came in response to a letter from 24 Hong Kong members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering expressing concern about science and technology project funding. Xi said Hong Kong's higher education and research institutions can apply for central government funding.
Editor: Emmi Laine