Google today announced plans to launch the Google AI China Center. The news was shared by Google chief scientist Fei-Fei Li ahead of Google Developer Days events in Shanghai.

Based in Beijing, the center will focus on AI research and receive support from Google engineers based in China. In addition to conducting research, the office will provide financial backing and sponsorship to AI community conferences and events in the country.

“Along with Dr. Jia Li, head of research and development at Google Cloud AI, I’ll be leading and coordinating the research,” Li said in a blog post.

The new AI center is Google’s first in Asia and joins Google centers for AI research in other cities around the world, including New York, Toronto, London, and Zurich.

Google search left China in 2010, but the company has attempted to make inroads in the region this year by evangelizing its popular open source program TensorFlow for researchers and developers, according to Bloomberg.

An international study of AI research released last month ranked two Chinese universities alongside Microsoft and Google as producing some of the most-cited AI research worldwide.

Last May, in one of the most high-profile AI events of 2017, Google’s AlphaGo beat the world’s top Go player, Ke Jie, at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China.


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