Over 80% of Chinese businesses already using generative AI

In further proof that the US and other Western countries are lagging behind China in adopting generative AI, a new survey has revealed that over 80% of Chinese business leaders are already using the new tools in their operations.

According to SAS, a North Carolina-based software company, the global average is only 54%, although it’s 65% in the United States. Still, China seems to be barrelling far ahead of its global peers.

“China is noticeably ahead, not only in the practical aspects of orchestrating AI into their existing systems and processes but also in embedding trust by preparing to adhere to GenAI regulations,” says the report (PDF).

This corresponds with other recent reports highlighting China’s domination in the booming GenAI market.

For instance, most of the GenAI patents now come from China – the country’s institutions have registered around 38,000 of them in less than a decade. The US, despite leading all the fuss in the Western media, is far behind with nearly 6,300 patents.

There’s a caveat, though. Yes, GenAI usage is way above the global average in China but organizations in North America are further ahead with full implementation, SAS says. According to the report, “those in China are most likely to be using GenAI to some extent, but full implementation is most common in the US.”

Besides, China’s AI companies are struggling with a shortage of AI chips – the US has barred the export of advanced processors to China.

On the other hand, there are certainly loopholes for China to use. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about an “underground network” sneaking high-end Nvidia chips into China.

The survey also says that around 70% of Asia-Pacific business leaders report feeling “fully prepared” or “moderately prepared” to comply with incoming generative AI regulations, compared to 59% in North America and 52% in Northern Europe.

However, the research found that businesses worldwide are generally “rushing into GenAI before establishing adequate systems of governance, which could result in serious issues with quality and compliance later.”

Health care, professional services, and the public sector believe they are least prepared to meet regulatory requirements. On the other hand, 70% of retail businesses said they were prepared to comply with all necessary regulations.

“For many organizations, it really comes down to this: in-house GenAI expertise is lacking. As HR departments encounter a scarcity of suitable hires, organizations worry that they do not have access to the necessary skills to make the most of their GenAI investment,” says SAS.

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