Baidu to Build Second AI Cloud Data Denter in Northern China

SHIJIAZHUANG, CHINA – Baidu, the long-time Chinese search engine and advertising giant, will construct a mega data center dedicated to AI-fueled cloud computing in the northern Chinese city of Baoding, Hebei Province. The data center will be the newest cog in the teach giant’s artificial neural network Baidu Brain.

This development, the product of a partnership between Baidu and the government of Baoding City (sealed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding late last week) is the latest in a series of moves by Baidu to develop the infrastructure necessary to build more Smart Cities. Known as the “ACE Program,” the initiative is designed specifically to the benefit of traffic monitoring, autonomous driving, and efficient municipal works. For example, Baidu invested $1.5 Billion USD over three years in Apollo, its home-grown open-source autonomous vehicle platform.

This will be Baidu’s second mega cloud-computing data center in the region, following the construction of a similar facility in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province.

“More scenarios and opportunities will be explored to apply AI in urban development,” said Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Robin Li in a translated press release. Li recently made headlines by resetting Baidu’s vision in late 2018, hunkering down into a more personalized, user-driven, platform within the AI & Cloud computing space – following in the footsteps of rival Asian tech giants Tencent & Alibaba. This news wasn’t entirely surprising, as revenue from digital advertising has fallen globally.

“Baidu is going all out in the autonomous vehicles space with big R&D projects and a broad network-partner ecosystem supporting its Apollo self driving platform,” recently wrote MTN Consulting’s Matt Walker and Arun Menon in the report, Webscale Playbook: Baidu, for example.