“IDEA (The International Digital Economy Academy)” opened quietly in 2020 in an ultra-modern office building in Shenzhen across the river on the border with Hong Kong.
Although geographically separated from Hong Kong, it is a research institute located in a special area called “Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Innovative Technology Cooperation Zone” that straddles Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It’s obvious if you look at the name. This is for the governments of Shenzhen and Hong Kong to jointly conduct science and technology research with the support of Beijing and favorable policies.
IDEA is one of the organizations established in a special zone of 3.89 km², which is equivalent to 540 soccer fields, and was conceived by Harry Shum. A prominent computer scientist, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft from 2013 to 2019 and co-founded Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft’s largest research division outside the United States.
Like Microsoft’s former colleague Kai-Fu Lee, Siam was active in both research and business aspects of AI. His team at IDEA is now “developing disruptive innovations based on social needs and giving back to society in a way that will benefit more people from the development of the digital economy.” want to be. IDEA’s research directors include Microsoft veterans such as Yutao Xie and Jiaping Wang.
Thorough tightening of regulations on Chinese Internet companies has led to the headline that Beijing is hostile to tech companies. But the government‘s intentions are more subtle. It targets big tech, which has contributed to financial market risk, game addiction, and exploitation of gig workers, and is considered harmful to society and the economy.
Meanwhile, China is sticking to its goal of promoting basic research and reducing its reliance on Western technology. In Shenzhen, home to giant companies such as Huawei, DJI and Tencent, the government is hiring world-class scientists. Harry Shum and his team are one of the newest researchers.
IDEA is certainly a topical name (and a great acronym). In President Xi Jinping’s speech, the term “digital economy” is often used to mean that technology is the driving force of the economy. President Xi Jinping said in October, “The digital economy has become an important force in recent years to rebuild the world economy and transform the world‘s competitive environment.” “Technologies such as the Internet, big data, and cloud computing are increasingly being incorporated into all areas of economic and social development.”
IDEA is exploring how AI can transform industries such as finance, manufacturing, and healthcare. This week, we will partner with China’s leading quant trader Ubiquant to set up a collaborative lab to study “risk monitoring and avoidance of financial trading markets” and “basic infrastructure of high-performance computing systems”. announced.
IDEA is just one of many research institutes born in Shenzhen in recent years. The Shenzhen Data Economy Research Institute, which was established on the Shenzhen campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong with the support of the government, is also a group working for the development of China’s digital economy.
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(Sentence: Rita Liao, Translation: Akihito Mizukoshi)