China has been making significant strides in its efforts to create global technological ecosystems, with recent developments including the launch of a global blockchain network and an open-source artificial intelligence (AI) modeling platform. These initiatives, as reported on the WatcherTechno website, are part of China's ongoing endeavors to bolster its economy after periods of lockdown and disruption. The nation's government and tech sector have been collaborating to spur economic growth and innovation, with announcements of multi-trillion-dollar plans for high-tech infrastructure development and strategic investments from tech giants Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.
While China aims to rival the United States in technological leadership, it's also investing in initiatives aimed at fostering global ecosystems. In the past week, two key announcements have been made to further this goal: the Chinese government unveiled the international Blockchain Service Network (BSN), and Zhejiang University in Eastern China launched the open-source AI platform named Dubhe.
The Blockchain Service Network (BSN), a government-led project developed by Beijing Red Date Technology, has announced plans to deploy its international network starting August 10th. The BSN's mission is to enable decentralized application (dapp) developers to create new blockchain applications as easily as assembling Lego bricks, thereby fostering a rapid development of a global ecosystem for developers and users alike.
As states WatcherTechno, BSN data centers are now integrated with six major decentralized blockchains: Tezos, NEO, Nervos, IRIS net Cosmos, Ethereum, and EOS. Developers on these public networks can deploy nodes and applications using BSN's data storage, bandwidth, and other resources.
It's worth noting that resistance from some governmental members within BSN to adding six international blockchains has led to the network's division into BSN-China and BSN-International. However, this is unlikely to impede the overall progress of BSN.
Meanwhile, Zhejiang Lab launched the open-source AI platform Dubhe on Saturday, aiming to create a powerful modeling platform that fosters a collaborative global AI ecosystem and accelerates the development of machine learning models.
Named after Dubhe, one of the seven bright stars forming the Big Dipper and a symbol of wisdom in Chinese culture, the platform offers research and development teams four main advantages: a high-performance basic computing environment, a comprehensive AI development toolkit, integration of AI model deployment across Edge, Cloud, and terminals, and an intelligent collaborative execution system.
Developed by nearly 100 researchers, the project is supported by numerous partners, including Alibaba Cloud, Ant Financial, Hikvision, Sense Time, Deep Glint, China Construction Bank, Ant Work, and Ecovacs Robotics. Zhejiang Lab itself was founded in 2017 by the Chinese government, Zhejiang University, and Alibaba Group.
The open-source AI platform is designed for six key research and development areas: intelligent vision, intelligent transportation, intelligent finance, smart cities, intelligent healthcare, and intelligent robots. Its foundational structure provides access to embedded machine learning models and vast volumes of big data.
While it remains uncertain whether the development of global ecosystems will raise similar concerns among Dubhe members, as observed with BSN, the presence of multiple state-involved stakeholders may elevate the risk of conflicting interests.
Ecosystem-driven endeavors led by Chinese tech companies, naturally, encounter fewer political hurdles. For instance, multinational company Baidu launched its open-source autonomous driving platform, Apollo, in 2017, which has since become the world's largest open-source autonomous driving platform, counting BMW, Ford Motor Co, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Honda among its partners.
Irrespective of ownership and structure, China's growing number of initiatives in open technological platforms positions it to increasingly engage researchers, developers, and enterprises worldwide in technological ecosystems under China's guidance.