China’s five-year plan aims for AI and quantum computing supremacy


China’s tech industry has been hit hard by American trade battles and the economic uncertainties of the pandemic, but it looks forward to rebounding in the relatively near future. According to to the the Wall Street newspaper, the country used its annual party meeting to outline a five-year plan to advance technology that contributes to “national security and global development.” It will create laboratories, encourage educational programs and otherwise stimulate research in fields such as AI, biotechnology, semiconductors and quantum computing.

The Chinese government added that it would increase spending on basic research (that is, studies of potential breakthroughs) by 10.6% in 2021 and create a 10-year research strategy.

China has a number of technological advantages, such as its availability of 5G and the sheer volume of AI research it produces. It is one of the few countries where completely driverless taxis serve real customers. With this in mind, the country is really consolidating some of its strengths.

However, it can also be a matter of survival. American trade restrictions hampered businesses like Huawei and ZTE, in part because of a lack of advanced chip manufacturing. The United States is also leading the global search, and the Biden administration is increase spending on advancements in 5G, AI, and electric cars. As experienced as China is in certain areas, it risks falling behind if it does not thwart the latest American efforts.

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