Image Courtesy BCG

China has emerged as the global leader in Artificial Intelligence followed by the U.S., reports the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in a recent study titled: Mind the (AI) Gap: Leadership Makes the Difference. Published December 2018, the report found three key points driving China’s AI success. Conclusions pulled from data gathered in a global survey of 2,700 managers reveal the following practices are actively contributing to this growth:

  1. China has adopted a core set of best practices to energise growth and implementation
  2. China has also launched a national initiative called the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” and the new plan is seeing results
  3. Finally, the current influence of AI already seen in a variety of industry verticals is helping speed up this development

Each of these factors is tethered to executive leadership, which is proving to be a constant thread within the successful implementation and achievement of these goals. This blog will take a closer look.

Best Practices Are Driving AI Development

China is widening its lead in AI globally by concentrating on a core set of best practices that energize entire industries to pilot and adopt AI for unique use cases.

China leads the rest of the industrialised world in implementing AI, with 85% of companies engaged in some form of AI, the U.S. is closer to 50%. The global BCG survey found success in AI implementation comes when organizations leverage a bold, disruption-friendly management style. In these scenarios, managers encourage piloting initiatives and rapid development while fostering a cross-functional, agile R&D approach. Successful AI–both inside China or out–is characterised as having short innovation cycles. Lengthy change programs aren’t working.  Getting started by launching smart, agile AI pilot projects is. Gradually chipping away at legacy innovation catalyses changes within an organisation.

National Incentives Are Driving Participation

Launched in 2017, China’s New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan is delivering reliable results and has become a topic of national pride.

The Chinese government published an initiative called the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan back in 2017.  The challenge to business leaders over the next decade is to achieve preeminence in the field of artificial intelligence, and it appears to be working.

AI Implementation Across Key Industries Is Speeding the Process

BCG finds AI’s influence on key industries is moving faster than many countries’ ability to structure governance and growth frameworks around.

Chinese leadership is seeing success in AI implementation across-industries because leadership is aggressively encouraging it. BCG surveyed 500 Chinese companies.

Fearless Effort

The study found a short innovation cycles and “bold, disruption-friendly” management methods encourage rapid development and pilot programs. Development teams have the backing of leadership to perform agile R&D, and this is proving to be the central core for these remarkable outcomes.

For companies looking to strengthen or establish a presence inside of the national firewall of China, the AI horizon is bright. This AI friendly environment is empowering to businesses to innovate and develop and AI is at the forefront. That is very good news for businesses that require international cloud, domestic cloud and colocation data centre operations.

Chayora is a world-class infrastructure developer based in Hong Kong with a primary focus on building Data Centre platforms in China. The company enables international online companies to effectively access the vast and rapidly developing Chinese market. We provide the fastest, most reliable and assured route to your business engagement in China.

To learn more about Chayora’s solutions, please visit

While attending ITW 2019, be sure to listen to Oliver Jones’ presentation titled, “From AI, IoT, 5G – A Shift From West To East” on Monday, June 24th at 3:10 PM EST.

About the Author

Oliver Jones is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Chayora. Oliver originally qualified as a chartered surveyor after graduating from Kingston in 1983 and after completing his MBA at London Business School in the late 1980s, specialised in corporate finance and the fast-growing management areas of property and business services outsourcing. Oliver specifically focuses on complex outsourcing transactions and property operating related investment deals. His experience in public partnerships has its roots in the UK in the 1990s when market testing and PFI models were developed. During this time, Oliver advised the UK Government’s Cabinet Office through his role on the UK PFI Panel Property Group and various industry professional bodies. He has worked extensively in real estate and service operator businesses internationally and has a particular insight into the Middle East and Asia through past business interests specifically the UAE, where he was a founder director of Emrill when with Carillion; Hong Kong and China with Citex and EC Harris; and Australia with Symonds.