Fundraising by chinese artificial intelligence start-ups has increased rapidly since the beijing government announced an ai drive in 2016, according to a report compiled by the chinese tech news portal 36kr.

China is an ai powerhouse comparable to the us, and the report shows that this is due to its homegrown start-ups.

Unlisted companies alone have raised rmb203.7bn ($30bn) since 2016, according to a 2020 report on the development of ai in china, which was compiled by the research unit of 36kr holdings. nikkei announced a partnership with 36kr in may 2019.

A total of rmb237.8bn has been invested in ai in china since 1998, with 86 per cent of that since 2016, the year when the government included an ai drive in its new five-year plan, triggering a boom in investment in the sector.

The report tallied funds raised from venture capital and tech company investment into ai-focused, unlisted companies as of june 2020.

The report also tallied funds by destination city. beijing, home to many prestigious science universities, ranked first, with about rmb74bn of investment.

Among the beijing-based ai start-ups are cambricon technologies, which listed stocks in july, and horizon robotics.

Shenzhen came in second, with about rmb30.6bn. the report cited the start-up ubtech robotics and the image-processing ai start-up malong technologies.

Shanghai ranked third, raising rmb18.4bn. the independent cloud service company shanghai qiniu information technologies is one of them.

It is said that there were nearly 100 unicorns privately held businesses with valuations of at least $1bn in china, and that most of them were ai start-ups. the report details the fundraising by individual start-ups.

A version of this articlewas first published by nikkei asia on september 19 2020. 2020 nikkei inc. all rights reserved