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商业 - 科技

谁对美国科技界影响最大?只有中国

Jonathan Vanian 2017年10月01日

中国正在飞速成为科技强国,并给美国的科技行业带来四个巨大影响。

科技产业的未来很大程度上取决于中国和美国的关系。

这就是上月在旧金山召开的全球移动大会上的结论。虽然中美两国的科技公司正在激烈地相互竞争,但全球化和不断进步的无线通讯技术正在以前所未有的方式,将两国的企业联系到一起。

下面的几个例子就能表明,爆炸式增长的中国正在飞速成为科技强国,以及由此给美国带来的影响。

1.一家中国手机公司希望扩大在美国的知名度

中兴通讯在美国并不是一个家喻户晓的品牌,不过它是中国最大的电信和智能手机公司之一。中兴终端事业部总经理程立新表示,中兴致力于销售比苹果和三星更便宜的手机,以扩大在美份额。他还指出,中兴已经成为2017年NBA总冠军金州勇士队的官方赞助商,希望此举能扩大公司在中国以外的知名度。

程立新表示,虽然中美企业的竞争十分激烈,但双方其实都是严重依赖对方的。比如如果没有谷歌的安卓系统,中国就不会掀起智能手机的浪潮。没有中国企业的代工制造,美国智能手机市场也不可能发展起来。

2.中国的无线覆盖好于美国

在此次大会上,有多名行业高管指出,美国虽然在科技研发方面仍然领先世界,但中国的无线通讯基础设施却要好于美国。其中一个原因是中国的运营商建设通讯基站不像美国那么麻烦。中国电信技术创新中心主任毕奇指出,美国的运营商要想修一个通讯基站,需要好几个政府部门的层层审批,“太麻烦”。而在中国政府的支持下,电信公司修建基站的速度很快,从而使得中国的基站数量已经达到美国的10倍以上。

3.美国公司利用先进技术,借中国的快速增长赚钱

对于美国的数据分析公司Orbital Insight,研究中国大陆的卫星图像,成为了该公司新的生财之道。该公司CEO詹姆斯·克劳福特表示,Orbital Insight公司主要使用卫星图像分析世界各地的石油存量。通过分析石油存量数据,企业和投资者可以对全球的石油存量产生更清醒的认识。克劳福特表示,通过对该公司的软件(或者说神经网络)进行“训练”,它已经能够在卫星图像中自动识别各种油桶。利用该软件对中国的卫星图像进行分析后,该公司发现中国还储存了2亿桶之前未发现的石油。

The technology industry's future depends in large part on the relationship between the U.S. and China.

That’s one of the takeaways from a Mobile World Congress conference on technology and finance in San Francisco on Wednesday. Although companies in both countries compete against each other, globalization and improved wireless technology have linked businesses from the two countries in ways that haven't existed before.

Here’s a few highlights that show China’s explosive growth into a technology powerhouse and its increasing influence in the U.S.

1. A Chinese smartphone company wants to become better known in the U.S.

ZTE may not be a household brand in the U.S., but it’s one of China’s biggest telecommunications and smartphone companies. Lixin Cheng CEO of ZTE's mobile device business, explained how the company is trying to gain a bigger foothold in the U.S. by selling cheaper smartphones than Apple and Samsung. He cited ZTE's recent deal to be an official sponsor for the 2017 NBA championship team Golden State Warriors as one way it’s trying to become better known outside of China.

Despite increased competition, U.S. and Chinese firms are still heavily dependent on each other, Cheng said. For example, China’s mobile boom could not have happened without Google’s (goog, +0.31%) Android operating system, while the U.S.’s smartphone market couldn’t have taken off without Chinese manufacturing.

2. China’s wireless coverage is better than the U.S.

The U.S. may lead the world in tech research, but China has managed to build better wireless infrastructure that gives people Internet access in more places, according to several executives at the event. One reason is because Chinese telecommunications companies have an easier time building cellular towers, said Qi Bi, the president of the China Telecom Technology Innovation Center, a research unit of China Telecom. To build towers in the U.S., companies need approval from multiple government agencies, which he called “a big hassle.” China’s government, in contrast, lets companies build cell towers quickly, providing the country with 10 times as many towers than in the U.S., Bi said.

3. U.S. companies using cutting-edge tech to capitalize on China’s growth

For data crunching specialist Orbital Insight, studying satellite imagery of China’s mainland creates a new way to make money. CEO James Crawford said that his U.S. company has been using satellite images to identify oil barrels stored all over the world. By figuring out how many there are, companies and investors can get a better sense of the world’s refined oil supply. Crawford said his company trained its software, or neural networks, to automatically recognize oil barrels in satellite images. It then applied the software to satellite images of China and found 200 million barrels that were previously undiscovered.

 

4.中国公司正在大量收集数据以培育人工智能

人工智能是科技产业最热门的领域之一。像谷歌和Facebook等公司设计的人工智能软件已经具备了语言翻译和理解文字等能力。中国政府今年夏天表示,中国将努力成为人工智能领域的全球领军者。美国无线科技公司Meeami的首席运营官道格·牧岛指出,为了实现这一目标,中国政府已经向搜索引擎巨头百度以及若干研究机构投资了数十亿美元。这些中资机构下一步要做的,就是收购那些拥有大量数据的公司,从而对人工智能软件进行“训练”,使其在各种任务中(比如面部识别)变得更加高效。

牧岛举了中国的华大基因的例子。2012年,华大基因斥资1.18亿美元收购了硅谷的DNA测序公司Complete Genomics。华大基因感兴趣的并不一定是这家美国公司的技术和人才,而是这家公司拥有的海量DNA数据,这些数据可以用来提高华大基因的人工智能软件的水平。

在不远的未来,中国公司还将做出更多类似的数据收购交易。(财富中文网)

译者:贾政景

4. To fuel artificial intelligence, Chinese companies are hoarding data

China’s government said this summer that it wants to be the world’s leader in the red-hot field of artificial intelligence that has made it possible for companies like Google and Facebook (fb, +0.01%) to build software that can quickly translate languages and understand text. As Doug Makishima, the chief operating officer of U.S. wireless tech company Meeami Technologies, explained, the Chinese government is investing billions of dollars in companies like the search giant Baidu and China-based research institutes to help it achieve its goal. The next step, Makishima explained, is for these Chinese businesses to buy companies that hold tremendous amounts of data that can improve AI-powered software to be more efficient at tasks like recognizing people's faces.

He cited the China based biotechnology company BGI—formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute—as an example. In 2012, BGI bought a Silicon Valley DNA sequencing company, Complete Genomics, for $118 million. It wasn’t necessarily Complete Genomics’ technology and U.S. workforce that BGI was interested in. It was the company’s vast amounts of DNA data that could be used improve BGI’s AI capabilities, Makishima said.

Expect Chinese companies to make more of these types of data-acquisition deals in the near future.

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