Opinion: China Tech Hits Stride, Set for High Gear Next Year

By Ryan Roberts

For tech in China, 2017 was a banner year. Not only did key industry leaders unveil groundbreaking initiatives centered on big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, but capital markets sounded a roaring approval, sending shares of well-known stocks significantly higher, in some cases more than doubling from the start of the year.

Notable developments from the “BAT” — Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — included the launch of an autonomous driving platform from Baidu called Apollo; Alibaba’s further blurring the line between online and offline shopping with the launch of its “New Retail” initiative; and the dominance of Tencent’s WeChat instant messaging app continuing to grow as the total number of users rose to nearly 1 billion, while its online games revenue staged enviable double-digit growth.

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