Brazilian and Chinese IT and AI communities link up

 

Experts and companies in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data from China and Brazil are linking up, with their sights in joint business opportunities.

Information technologies (IT) and AI were focused in a webinar promoted last week by the Brazil-China Business Council (CEBC), the Chinese Embassy in Brazil, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Zhejiang International Business School (ZIBS).

The event was opened by Ambassador Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves, the president of CEBC; Jin Hongjun, the Chinese Embassy Chargé d’Affaires; and Zhu Lian, deputy director of the Electronic Commerce Department at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

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Castro Neves said that Brazil ranks ninth in the world in the number of unicorns, that is, technology companies worth more than one billion dollars market value, while China ranks second. “Brazil, which has almost 80% of its population connected to the internet, can find in the Chinese experience a great source of inspiration,” he added.

Jin highlighted that the digital economy is one of the priorities of the Chinese government in terms of international cooperation and proposed that Brazil and China join efforts to train human resources in areas such as technological research and development, digital transformation for small and medium-sized companies and digital governance.

“We will also reinforce the alignment of digital economy development strategies, focusing on the exchange of experiences and public policies”, the Chinese diplomat said.

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Zhu Lian said that the development of the digital economy and disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain is part of the country’s growth strategy. China’s digital economy, he added, reached USD 5.8 trillion in 2020 and the biggest contribution came from e-commerce, an area in which China is one of the world leaders.

An increasing number of Brazilian products are reaching Chinese consumers through e-commerce, with a 133% increase in the first quarter.

Also present at the webinar, as speakers, on the China side, were Wu Fei, director of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Zheijang; Mei Tao, vice president of JD.com; Zhang Lin, vice president of the Meituan Research Institute.

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On the Brazilian side, Ricardo Geromel, partner of the company 3G Radar; Sandor Caetano, head of Data Science at the delivery company iFood; and Martha Gabriel, professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC).

AI is present in all areas of iFood’s operations, highlighted Sandor Caetano, Head of Data Science at the platform, the largest FoodTech in Latin America, with 60 million orders per month.

At Meituan, AI has enabled the autonomous delivery vehicle, dubbed the “Magic Bag 20” to make 2.2 million deliveries in 2020 in open spaces, said Zhang Lin, vice president of the platform’s Research Institute.

According to Ricardo Geromel, from 3G Radar, Brazil does not offer specific university training on the subject and has a lot to learn from China in the development of this sector.

 

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