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China’s AI startups scored more funding than America’s last year

February 14, 2018

Of $15.2 billion invested in AI startups globally in 2017, 48 percent went to China and just 38 percent to America. So says a new report from CB Insights about the state of AI.

So long, America: It’s the first time China’s AI startups surpassed those in the US in terms of funding. While America still has more AI startups than China, they’re starting to lose out in striking equity deals: the US accounted for 77 percent of them in 2013, but that fell to 50 percent last year.

Fierce competition: AI startup investment rose 141 percent in 2017 compared with 2016—but with 1,100 new startups appearing last year, AI appearing in business models everywhere, and Big Tech’s enterprise AI offerings gaining traction, it’s harder than ever to snag funds.

Why it matters:  China is all-in on AI, but the US government is doing little to support its own industry. The success of Chinese startups is another sign that America could soon be left behind.

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