Google is to open an artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in China to target the country’s local talent, Reuters reports.
The research centre will go ahead even though the US search firm’s products remain blocked in the country.
Google said in a statement that the centre is the first of its kind in Asia and will comprise a small team operating out of its existing office in Beijing.
Chinese policy makers have voiced strong support for AI research and development in the country, but have imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign firms in the past year, including new censorship restrictions.
Google’s search engine is banned in the Chinese market along with its app store, email and cloud storage services. China’s cyber regulators say restrictions on foreign media and internet platforms are designed to block influences that contravene stability and socialist ideas.