(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- Demand for artificial intelligence (AI) talent has experienced explosive growth in China this year. China's first-tier cities had the most demand for and supply of professional talents this year, said Zhaopin Limited, a career platform and talent management company. The average monthly salary offered to the AI talent is relatively high due to the shortage, which could consequently lead to more competition among the enterprises in need of such talent and increase pressure on policy-makers to further support development of AI talent.
The survey conducted by Zhaopin shows that nearly 70 percent of AI talents earn more than CNY10,000 (USD1,500) per month, while about 1 percent of them earn a monthly salary of over CNY50,000.
In China's AI industry, 33.7 percent of enterprises' remuneration budget during the recruitment is set between CNY10,001 and CNY15,000 per month; 27.7 percent between CNY8,001 and CNY10,000 per month; and 26.7 percent between CNY15,001 and CNY25,000, which are far higher than the national average salary level.
The online data of Zhaopin for the fall of 2017 shows the average salary of 37 major cities in China is CNY7,599 per month.
Although AI talents can already earn a higher salary now, their wages will continue to grow judging from the remuneration budget of enterprises, the report added.
Among the stepwise remuneration mentioned above, there is a huge gap in recruiting talents with a salary of CNY15,001-CNY25,000 and CNY25,001-CNY35,000 per month. This shows that it is still difficult to recruit suitable talents for high-and-mid-end AI posts, which indirectly indicates that remuneration for talents mastering AI technologies is expected to rise.
Enterprises are usually placed in a passive position in recruiting AI talents as such technologies have a higher threshold and are not easy to grasp in a short period. The salaries in the AI industry will continue to rise, said the Zhaopin report.
The demand on AI talents in the third quarter of 2017 grew by 179 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016, the report mentioned.
In terms of the regions in need of such talents, the AI posts are mainly distributed in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with Beijing taking the dominant position, generating 30 percent of the total demand volume.
On the other hand, the proportion of supply of AI talents is higher than that of demand in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, while the situation of Guangzhou is opposite, showing that Guangzhou demands for AI talents more urgently than other regions.