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Baidu has released its annual ranking of the hottest search terms in technology for 2019.

Artificial intelligence (AI) garnered more searches than any other tech phrase.

“AI is going to open a new chapter of the society of the world that people try to understand ourselves better, rather than the outside world,” said Alibaba founder Jack Ma in a discussion with Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai in August.

China issued a plan for next-generation AI in 2017, pledging to turn the industry into a new growth engine. Countless Chinese entrepreneurs and startups have focused on AI in recent years.

Hurun named SenseTime and Megvii in the top four of its Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019 with respective valuations of USD 6 billion and USD 4 billion.

5G was the second most searched term

It was a pivotal year for the next-generation communications technology in China as the country officially kicked off commercialization services in November, giving it a slight lead in the global race to build the superfast networks.

For consumers, faster speeds and low latency can improve mobile experiences. For industry, machine-to-machine communication on a massive scale presents vast potential for industrial IoT.

A report from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology estimated that the domestic 5G market could be worth RMB 1.1 trillion by 2025, contributing 3.2% of China’s gross national product expansion.

Blockchain ranked third

China has stepped up efforts to apply blockchain in a wide range of fields, with President Xi pointing out the importance of the technology in a landmark speech in October.

China leads global blockchain patent applications, according to a report from the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology. Alibaba, Ping An, Baidu are spearheading the development of China’s blockchain sector.

The country’s central bank is also developing its own digital currency, which has created a climate of confidence for the already fast-moving blockchain sector. Spending is likely to hit $2 billion by 2023, according to a report from global market intelligence company IDC.

VR: 5, AR: 10

2019 also witnessed the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) which also made Baidu’s top 10.

China’s VR market will grow to RMB 54.5 billion ( USD 7.7 billion) by 2021, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

AR is becoming more and more popular in the country. Scanning objects for virtual red envelopes using Alipay has already become a widespread practice during Chinese New Year. 5G is expected to aid the technology’s development further.

Below is Baidu’s top ten in full.

  1.     AI
  2.     5G
  3.     Blockchain
  4.     Robotics
  5.     VR
  6.     AI for missing people
  7.     Smart Home
  8.     IoT
  9.     Facial Recognition Payment
  10.    AR

Coco Gao is TechNode's Beijing-based visual reporter. Passionate about producing multimedia content on Chinese tech and industry, she holds a Master degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong....

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