Chinese internet giants BAT compete for "new infrastructure" market


1. Baidu lays out a new infrastructure by its comparative advantage of AI capabilities. It relies on AI technology and commercial landing experience to broaden future growth space and external empowerment.

2. Cloud computing is an important part of the new infrastructure. Alibaba with the advantage of cloud computing, focuses on the layout of cloud computing infrastructure construction, and emphasizes security new infrastructure.

3. The new infrastructure is an important development opportunity for Tencent to implement the plan that " to root in the consumer Internet and embrace the industrial Internet". With social connection advantages mainly, supplemented by extensive investment, Tencent promotes the construction of new infrastructure.


New infrastructure is new infrastructure construction, which was explicitly proposed at the 2018 Central Economic Work Conference - "accelerate the pace of 5G commercialization and strengthen the construction of new infrastructure such as artificial intelligence, industrial Internet, and Internet of Things." At that time, the development of new technologies was still in the development stage, and its driving effect on the economy was gradually revealed.

In recent years, the global economic market has shifted from the division of labor in the market to the development driven by emerging technologies, and technology has become the key to seize the development of emerging industries. The information infrastructure that supports the development of industry in the direction of informationization, digitalization and intelligentization has become an important lever for the current economic development. Affected by the epidemic at the beginning of the year, the country's economy suffered, and the need for long-term development has highlighted the importance of new infrastructure.

The development content of the new infrastructure is generally consistent with the development of technology companies, thus it received a positive response from many companies.

Baidu is building a new infrastructure landscape with artificial intelligence at its core and announced that it will train 5 million AI talents in 5 years; Alibaba is relying on cloud computing advantages to build a secure digital infrastructure with 200 billion yuan investment in 3 years; Tencent takes social connectivity as its core and invests 500 billion yuan in 5 years. Around the new infrastructure, BAT launched a new round of fierce competition.

"The introduction of the new infrastructure concept and the determination of the strategic height have made the cognition and ideas of the entire industry more consistent. The giants have increased their investment in related fields and accelerated their investment." The dean of Yiou You Tianyu said. 


Baidu: focus on the layout of artificial intelligence and talent training


The "new infrastructure" is an accelerant to promote the digital transformation of industries and intelligent upgrade and other services, and artificial intelligence is an important part of the new infrastructure. The wave of new infrastructure is coming, and Baidu relies on AI technology and commercial landing experience to broaden future growth space and external empowerment.

"Baidu's comparative advantage is AI capabilities to layout the new infrastructure. Baidu's layout in the field of AI is earlier, and the strategy of 'Artificial Intelligence + Big Data + Cloud Computing' is to connect the core competencies of AI to the cloud computing. But its gap is still larger than that of Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud." Cheng Hao, the Founding Partner of iVision Ventures said.

"For Baidu, we are both an AI infrastructure builder as well as an AI technology and application innovation leader and promoter. The AI platform, represented by Baidu Brain, PaddlePaddle and Baidu Cloud, has become an important infrastructure in the smart era and is helping the National social development to achieve simultaneous improvement of economic and social benefits." Wang Haifeng, CTO of Baidu, has said.

On June 11, Baidu released the AI new infrastructure map, aiming to be the largest provider of AI services for China's new infrastructure, and relying on the new AI infrastructure to promote industrial intelligence upgrade.    

Baidu will continue to increase investment in the next decade, such as artificial intelligence, chips, cloud computing, data center and other areas of new infrastructure.

As an important bearer and exporter of Baidu's AI landing, Baidu Cloud also plays an important role in supporting AI new infrastructure. Baidu's new strategy for 2020 is to "based on cloud computing, with artificial intelligence as a grip, focusing on important tracks" to promote the industry Intelligent development and acceleration of AI industrial mass production. In the next ten years, the number of Baidu's intelligent cloud server units will exceed 5 million units.    

The most important part of the technology development process is talent cultivation, and Baidu attaches importance to promoting AI talent cultivation. Baidu, together with Fudan University, Wuhan University and other universities, jointly set up artificial intelligence courses and trained thousands of AI professional teachers from Tsinghua University, Peking University and Harbin Institute of Technology. In the next five years, Baidu plans to train 5 million AI talents for the development of China's smart economy and intelligent society.


Alibaba: focus on cloud computing and emphasis on "secure infrastructure"


Cloud computing is an important part of the new infrastructure, and Alibaba leverages the advantages of cloud computing to focus on the layout of cloud infrastructure construction and emphasize secure new infrastructure.

On April 20, Alibaba Cloud announced that it would invest 200 billion yuan in new infrastructure in the next three years for the research and development of major core technologies such as cloud operating systems, servers, chips, networks and data center construction.

At present, Alibaba Cloud has deployed hundreds of cloud data centers in 21 regions around the world. The investment means that Alibaba Cloud data center and server scale will be expanded three times.

Alibaba Cloud's new infrastructure emphasizes investment in "secure infrastructure". With the extensive application of new technologies in new infrastructure, security risks have also increased, including third-party software vulnerabilities, increased application risks, more diverse attack methods, and breakthroughs in network boundary-based protection.

For this reason, Alibaba proposes the concept of "Security Infrastructure". The new architecture integrates Alibaba's security capabilities and operational experience to form a set of standardized security architectures that are plug-and-play, providing security solutions for all types of apps and applications. The process of building digital economic entity can establish standardized processes to help build the security infrastructure for the digital process.              

"The bigger the company, the more social responsibility it needs to assume. Today's Alibaba is not just a company, it's an economy and takes on the basic functions of the whole society in many aspects, and security has risen to a matter of national interest," You Tianyu stressed.

Cheng Hao said: "Alibaba's earliest listing was a B2B business, which was different from Baidu and Tencent. The essence of the Internet of Things, AI, and cloud computing in the new infrastructure are all empowerment. Therefore, from the company's genetic point of view, Alibaba has has advantages that other companies cannot make up for."


Tencent: social connectivity is primary, ecological investment is secondary


The new infrastructure is an important development opportunities for Tencent to implement the plan that " to root in the consumer Internet and embrace the industrial Internet". With social connection advantages mainly, supplemented by extensive investment, Tencent promotes the construction of new infrastructure.

Based on Tencent Cloud, WeChat Work and other social connectivity tools, Tencent layouts its AI new infrastructure panorama. The overall layout of Tencent Cloud AI new infrastructure forms a "one cloud and three platforms" architecture. One cloud refers to Tencent Cloud, and three platforms refer to algorithm platform, service platform and open platform.  

Tencent Cloud provides the underlying computing power resources; the algorithm platform will apply AI capabilities to actual business scenarios; the AI service platform will provide AI technologies to industry users in the form of cloud services to lower the threshold of AI applications. The Tencent AI open platform will connect Tencent's AI capabilities with the industry and promote the continuous progress of AI technologies and applications.

In addition to social connections to promote AI technology and cloud services, Tencent's investment strength should not be underestimated. Tencent announced a 5-year investment of 500 billion yuan for the layout of new infrastructure. If calculated based on an annual investment of 100 billion yuan, this is roughly Tencent's annual profit.

The new infrastructure cannot be achieved without the participation of strong players and investment. Tencent will invest in these fields, such as large data centers, supercomputing centers, IoT operating systems, 5G networks, and Audio and video communications, network security, quantum computing… 

Cheng Hao said: "BAT to do cloud computing, Internet of Things, AI are very reasonable, because they all have large platforms and massive data. Moreover, BAT's layout of new infrastructure is not to rub the heat. Alibaba started to layout cloud computing as early as 2009, and Baidu started to layout cloud computing in 2003. Since the beginning of machine learning layout, the investment in emerging technologies is a long-established development strategy of the giants. After the new infrastructure was proposed, BAT actively responded to the national call to expand investment in new infrastructure-related technologies. Be it a company or an individual, they should do what they are good at, and opportunities are reserved only for the prepared minds."

According to You Tianyu, BAT and other large platform companies are the infrastructure builders of information technology, as well as many emerging technology leaders. In the new infrastructure-related field, the giants will further increase relevant investment. The further increase in investment by representative technology and platform companies will enhance China's technological capabilities related to new infrastructure, while also accelerating the whole new infrastructure improvement.

Regarding the construction of new infrastructure, Baidu, Alibabab and Tencent have launched a new round of competition. This is not only a technical contest, but also an important battle for the technology giant to stand up in the future market. Actively participate in the drive for new infrastructure, giants can obtain unlimited data, and gain insight into the future, realize rapid innovation, and form the core competitiveness of the future.

This is an article from WeChat official accounts Yiouwang(ID: i-yiou), written by Ni Xia, translated by Chris Yuan.