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Google announced plans to launch the Google AI China Center. The news was shared by Google chief scientist Fei-Fei Li ahead of Google Developer Days events in Shanghai.

Based in Beijing, the center will focus on AI research and receive support from Google engineers based in China. In addition to conducting research, the office will provide financial backing and sponsorship to AI community conferences and events held in China.

“Along with Dr. Jia Li, head of research and development at Google Cloud AI, I’ll be leading and coordinating the research,” Li said in a blog post.

The new AI center is the first in Asia from Google and joins other Google centers for AI research in cities around the world like New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.

Google search left China in 2010, but the company that now refers to itself as AI first, has attempted to make inroads in China this year by evangelizing its popular open-source program TensorFlow among researchers and developers, according to Bloomberg.

An international study of AI research released last month ranked two Chinese universities alongside Microsoft and Google as some of the most cited AI research worldwide.

In one of the most high-profile AI events of 2017, in May Google’s AlphaGo beat top Go player in the world Ke Jie at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China.

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