Artificial intelligence is key to digital business; firms are using it to transform everything from business operations to the customer experience. Of the various technology layers that make up AI, we have spotlighted computer vision, as this layer is particularly prevalent in the Chinese market. We have observed that, in the past three years, VC funding for China’s computer vision startups has increased by 137%. This has heated up the market and is fueling its rapid development.

The first question to pop up in your mind might be: Why does my business need computer vision technology? Three important reasons are that this technology:

  • Enables enterprises to maximize customer value throughout the life cycle. Computer vision technology can automatically segment customers based on their attributes. If you have a large number of prospective customers, that’s even better: This technology can help you organize your collection of profiles and make it more precise and complete.
  • Helps companies achieve efficiency and agility for operational excellence. Computer vision technology can improve employee productivity for labor-intensive workloads that require visual analysis and can improve accuracy. For instance, when CFMOTO adopted computer vision solutions from Alibaba Cloud for fault analysis, it boosted personnel efficiency by 30% and inventory turnover by 50%.
  • Is now critical for AI adoption in China. Computer vision is part of two of the top 10 building blocks for AI adoption in China. About one-third of data and analytics decision makers in China whose firms use AI or plan to do so say that they use facial recognition or image and video analysis in their AI initiatives or are likely to. Moreover, the adoption of AI has become a national strategy and the government has implemented relevant policies to facilitate AI adoption among enterprises.

Our recent report, New Tech: Computer Vision Software For AI In China, Q1 2018, examines 21 computer vision software vendors in China in three market segments: local computer vision specialists, local AI platform providers, and global AI platform providers. Based on the companies’ longevity, financial situation, and number of enterprise customers, we divided them into three groups: more viable, viable, and less viable. We use the term “viability” to describe the strength of each vendor’s financial performance, operational experience, and customer base.

But that’s not enough: A fuller picture of the market includes additional information about the vendors — such as where they operate, what main verticals they serve, and who their representative customers are — that we provide in the report. If your enterprise is considering prioritizing computer vision for your AI initiatives, it’s very important to understand what expertise each vendor has so you know who to choose based on your need. Viability is also a useful reference point to have when choosing a vendor so you can be sure to pick one that will be in the game for the long term.