Tianjin city in China eyes US$16 billion fund for AI work, dwarfing EU’s plan to spend US$1.78 billion

A major Chinese metropolis plans to set up a multi-billion dollar fund to spur development of the artificial intelligence (AI) industry, in what is the latest and probably largest effort by a single Chinese city amid the country’s push to fulfil its ambition to become a world leader in AI by 2030.

Tianjin, a northeastern port city outside Beijing, said it will establish a 100 billion yuan((US$15.7 billion))fund to speed up development of new generation AI technologies, according to a document posted on the city government’s official website on Wednesday.

The money will be raised from financial organisations in China and abroad as well as from private enterprises and other market players, it said. The AI industrial fund is part of Tianjin government’s grand plan to “speed up the development of the smart technology industry”, which includes a 10 billion yuan smart manufacturing fund financed by the municipal government and a string of talent incentives – up to 2 million yuan cash reward per person – to attract high-end tech talent.