Innovation calls, Chinese technological billionaires respond

01/05/2018

 

Peking University and Tsinghua University have received major investments in the name of technological and scientific progress

 

The request of the Chinese president Xi Jinping to contribute to the formation of a new class of scholars able to face the challenges posed by the new technology, has been embrased by Baidu and JD.com. In fact, the two technological giants have recently made generous donations to the universities of Peking University and Tsinghua University in the name of technological innovation.

The CEOs at Baidu and JD.com and their spouses pledged millions to China’s two top universities and the figure we are talking about is consistent. Baidu CEO Robin Li Yanhong, his wife Melissa Ma and the company jointly donated 660 million yuan to Peking University to commemorate the institution’s 120th anniversary.

 

Chinese tycoons have been criticised by internet users in the past for donating to foreign universities

 

These funds will be used to help research in areas that integrate the company’s artificial intelligence technologies, such as information management, medicine, economics, communications and sociology.

JD CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong and his wife Zhang Zetian also made a notable donation to Tsinghua University. The two donated 200 million yuan for research on artificial intelligence and logistics.

Most likely, these two donations are also born from the call made by President Xi to develop the capacity for Chinese technological production and thus avoid exposing China to dependencies from abroad. Xi said during an inspection tour of chip makers in Wuhan, Hubei province, said: “Businesses must unceasingly make breakthroughs in core technology, mastering more key technologies with self-owned intellectual property rights and building up the ability to dominate industrial development. The country needs you to pick up the pace”.

In particular, to upset the Chinese technological landscape, was the American decision to ban ZTE Corp, China’s biggest publicly traded telecommunications equipment maker, from buying components from American companies for seven years. The move shone a light on China’s dependence on imported technologies.

 

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