MIT Technology Review on Tuesday released its list of 50 Smartest Companies. Seven tech companies from the Chinese mainland have been included in the 2017 list, namely iFlytek (No. 6), Tencent (No. 8), Face (No. 11), DJI (No. 25), Alibaba (No. 41), Ant Financial (No. 49) and Baidu (No. 50).
Every year, MIT Technology Review identifies 50 companies, which performed aggressively by combining advanced technologies and business savvy. Considered the dominant companies of the future, firms on the list previously included tech giants such as IBM and Amazon, but some are startups full of ambition, such as SpaceX and Tesla. The list aims to encourage technologically innovative companies to promote their successful business models all over the world.
It's 2017 and artificial intelligence technology factors into placement on the list. As such, firms that have made great advances in emerging technology fields like deep learning, voice and facial recognition, as well as DNA sequencing, have dominated the list.
Looking at Chinese mainland's contribution to the list, it marks iFlytek's first time to be included. As an IT firm, iFlytek has developed its own voice recognition software, dubbed "Chinese Siri", and has introduced more than ten voice-based mobile products in China. In MIT Technology Review's opinion, this company "already dominates China's voice recognition market and is now expanding into voice-activated command systems for cars, homes, robots, and schools."
Another newcomer from China this year is Face , a company which provides facial recognition services. At present, popular Chinese online payment platform, Alipay, uses Face 's core technology to allow users to log in and pay by using their faces as identification. Meanwhile, ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing, and popular photographing app maker Meitu, both use Face 's services.
Over the past several years, Chinese companies, especially tech giants, have been playing a more important role in global economic development. To some degree, it represents the rise of China's economy, as well as its international influence in the world.