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Understand the Chinese AI hand-to-hand combat: only Baidu Huawei is really doing AI

via:博客园     time:2019/1/8 12:34:24     readed:578


Author: Chan Dehu

Does any TMT company dare to admit that they have not studied, invested and laid out AI related businesses in the past two years? What age worker who keeps a minimal focus on media topics has not heard or thought about the possibility that AI will replace him?

1. Dividends disappear:

2. Increase the cost of employment:In the past, the extremely low cost of employment led to the tide of opportunities for labor-intensive enterprises. In the past 40 years, with the industrial upgrading, the number of working people of the right age is declining, and young people are increasingly reluctant to engage in repetitive and monotonous work. And those business owners in office buildings also have to pay for the rising cost of living and living in the city. The cost of employing people rises sharply.

Since then, the human AI road has finally embarked on the right path. After all, if the unique way of human cognition and thinking can be taught to computers through training, and computers can also defeat the top human experts in such complex operations as Go with the increase of training, then why can't part of the work of commercial organizations be handed over to computers?

This is the dawn that almost all TMT and traditional industry entrepreneurs expect.

The panorama of hand-to-hand combat: the fighting methods of the four great families

How to feel more intuitively the development of AI tide in China? Which companies are excellent competitors, and how do giants have a tight layout?


(The battle situation is fierce and complicated. I suggest you click on Enlarged View.)

In this picture, we divide China's AI industry into three layers: application, technology and foundation. The next layer is the precondition and guarantee of the first layer, and the last layer is the practice and application of the next layer.In each layer, it is divided into several vertical areas, under which there are representative enterprises. Among these enterprises, there may be investment and strategic partnership arising from AI. In the figure, we show them in different colors.

The most conspicuous is undoubtedly the four magnificent families in the central part of the picture, as well as the large number of homochromic lines emanating therefrom, as well as the homochromic enterprise circles at the end of the lines. It symbolizes the huge AI positions built with money and technology: Ali, Baidu, Huawei and Tencent, which almost constitute the main force of the current Chinese AI forces.


Nearly 65% of AI fighters in the picture are from these four big families. The separatist princes outside the powerful families are only enterprises such as Jingdong, Science and Technology University, Xunfei, Shangtang and Good Future, and their advantages are very single.

In contrast, Baidu Department alone has occupied 48 seats in the figure, accounting for nearly a quarter; Tencent Department is closely followed by the second, accounting for 37 seats, reaching one fifth; Ali Department accounts for 16%; while Huawei Department, although only 4%, has a solid layout in the middle and lower levels of the industrial chain, and is still a very strong participant.

Next, we will explain the battlefield panorama in detail in a layered way.

AI application layer: Eight Immortals crossing the sea, each holding thighs

For example, Ali's most advantageous AI areas are retail, financial and entertainment marketing, which is obviously closely related to the group's main business.Whether Ali cooperates with traditional retail formats such as Yintai and Darunfa, or supports new species such as box horses, it hopes to prove that the online e-commerce model verified by Taobao Tianmao can efficiently empower the offline. As for AI investment in entertainment marketing, it is like a large number of short video, social and live applications can be seamlessly inserted into Ali's mother and Taobao links, more like Ali's attempt to grab new traffic.

Since Robin Li's image on the five rings has been widely remembered, Baidu's connection with automatic driving and new car making has become a strong label impression.In fact, this is also the area where Baidu has absolute advantage in AI application layer. Whether it is the mass production of L4 bus, or the large investment and cooperation planning of automobile manufacturers, Baidu has made a public appearance in recent years. In addition, Baidu also has a good cooperative relationship in the fields of home appliances, mobile phones and so on: Robin Li's hand in hand with Yu Chengdong and Baidu's home appliance enterprises such as Haier have produced landing results.

Huawei's advantages in the application layer are mainly concentrated in the field of mobile terminals.

In addition to being as willing as Baidu to join hands with car companies, Tencent has also devoted a lot of energy to the field of education.


Ali's retail financial advantage is to hold the thigh of e-commerce business, Tencent's educational advantage is to hold the thigh of social business, Huawei's terminal advantage, Jingdong's retail advantage, and the educational advantage of CTU's Xunfei are all the same. Most enterprises still continue their original corporate genes, and then the corresponding AI can be.

Why does this happen? Let's go on to the next level and find the answer.

AI technical layer: the difference between Qizong and Jianzhong

In the battle map of AI technology layer, we can clearly find that:China's AI giants, from this layer, have separated Jianzhong and Qizong.


For example, Ali's dominant area in technology is machine vision. Although Ali occupies the most seven seats on this level, three of them belong to the field of machine vision (Shang Tang, Ignorance, Yitu). Tencent, along with its younger brother Sogou, occupies an advantageous position in the field of machine translation.

On the other hand, Baidu and Huawei are representatives of Qizong.

Input in these areas of technology, intuitively speaking, can not directly produce some application results, let alone directly endow their own advantages.

AI Foundation: Who are the local tyrants and who are moving bricks?

Entering the bottom of the AI campaign, we can instantly feel the power of capital. In only one field of chips, Ali has launched four major players: Cambrian, Shenjian, Zhongtianwei and Durability. Tencent's money has been spent more on big data, including Mingliao, Carbon Cloud and Sipai.

These names may still be unfamiliar to ordinary consumers. But ordinary people are not unfamiliar with the fact that if you walk around the main airports of the first-tier cities in China, you will surely see the huge advertising posters of Ali Yun and Tencent Yun.

For example, in the field of algorithm, Paddle Paddle, the only in-depth learning open source framework with independent intellectual property rights in China, has Baidu Brain, the largest and most mature AI open neural network in China. Although Baidu does not have as high market share as Aliyun, nor does it have huge investment in the chip field, it actually monopolizes the other two core areas of the basic layer.


Ali's expectation is to digest and mature the purchased technology and then promote it downstream. Baidu Huawei's idea is to build the core technology independently. This different AI infrastructure path, in fact, is also the fundamental reason for the different performance of each enterprise in the above layers.

Overall, the performance of Chinese enterprises in AI infrastructure needs to be improved. At present, NVIDIA, Intel, Qualcomm and other international giants still firmly control the majority of market share represented by the chip field.

The advantage of Chinese enterprises is data. According to IDC estimates, the total global data is expected to reach 44ZB by 2020, and China's data will account for 18% of the total global data. Such huge amounts of data can feed Chinese technology giants enough to improve the accuracy of algorithms, models and products.



(CB Insights: Baidu's AI strategy predates Google, Ali and Tencent)

The primary value of AI for these two giants is to optimize the business efficiency of themselves and their partners, and then grab more traffic to consolidate traditional advantages.

For example, Baidu hopes to become the best wheat growers, flour processors and bread bakers by making bread through research, and to form strategic alliances with seed, fertilizer, builders and retailers in the process. Then Ali and Tencent would like to buy bread products that suit their own tastes, and quickly improve their e-commerce and social efficiency, and then further consider how to empower other enterprises in the same industry.

Of course, Baidu is not completely divorced from the traditional advantages of AI.After all, since 2000, when we started as a search engine, Baidu has been working in the fields of data algorithms, which are closely related to people, and understanding user needs and web content through natural language processing technology. Just as Google became the first U.S. Internet giant to leverage the value of AI, AI may not naturally be search, but search giants naturally have the AI gene.

In short, AI is the dawn of the second half of the Internet, and the current route and situation are clear, depending on how the various giants fight to the end, to maintain their advantages to the dawn of the moment.

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