Briefing: Microsoft to set up Asia AI research branch in Shanghai

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微软全球执行副总裁沈向洋:微软将成立微软亚洲研究院 (上海) – Yicai

What happened: During the World AI Conference taking place in Shanghai, Microsoft announced they will launch an R&D affiliate Microsoft Research Asia’s branch for AI in Shanghai. Big data, cloud computing, and deep learning are the three elements Microsoft acknowledges as driving force and priority fields its future work will focus on. Microsoft’s new projects in Shanghai are cultivating medtech, smart industrial park, smart home, and fintech sectors.

Why it’s important: Beijing is shifting its attention to tech-oriented projects and substantial R&D instead of supporting business model driven enterprises. Meanwhile, localization and securing partnerships with local players (particularly government-backed ones) are increasingly crucial methods to build trust. The methods will also allow foreign enterprises to take advantages of premium resources such as data and policies while trade tension accelerates.