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Lenovo to increase its AI efforts in Hong Kong, citing city's embrace of emerging technology

Lenovo Group, the world's biggest personal computer (PC) maker, is increasing its artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives in Hong Kong, where it says companies are more willing to embrace AI than elsewhere.

In a recent survey of global corporate chief information officers (CIOs) by Lenovo, 95 per cent of those in Hong Kong said that their requests for a budget for AI were being met or exceeded, while 44 per cent said that they have "more than what is needed", the company revealed at its annual Lenovo Tech World event, held in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Nine out of 10 Hong Kong CIOs also said that they have the talent they need to adopt AI, according to Lenovo, which said it will publish a full report later this year.

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Hong Kong is more ready and "willing to lean in" to embrace AI, with the city's developed social-economic situation allowing companies to invest in new technologies, Linda Yao, chief operating officer and head of strategy at Lenovo Solutions & Services Group, said in an interview with the Post on the sidelines of the event.

"From a technology perspective, overall technology maturity is higher [in Hong Kong] because the organisations in Hong Kong have more experience with the Western tech stack as well as the Eastern tech stack," Yao said.

Lenovo also presented a series of new enterprise-facing AI solutions to Hong Kong companies, including Care of One, a workplace management platform that uses AI to collect information and analyse what software and hardware different employees need to do their jobs.

Lenovo is also working with Microsoft to offer an AI-powered cybersecurity solution for companies that is available in Hong Kong, the company said on Thursday.

Lenovo, one of more than 30 companies that partnered with the Hong Kong government's Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES) last year to boost innovation and technology in the city, said that it has invested more than HK$1 billion (US$128 million) in the "tech ecosystem" in Hong Kong over the past five years, including into local start-ups and research and development in the city.

The technology giant, which in February reported its first quarterly revenue growth since late 2022, said last month that it is sharpening its focus on AI as the global PC industry moves to integrate the technology into products and services.

The company is rolling out its first-generation AI PCs in the first half of this year, and is expecting to double its market share in AI servers this year.

However, while Hong Kong companies are keen to incorporate AI, they are still hesitant to apply AI at scale, Lenovo found in its survey.

Only 55 per cent of CIOs in Hong Kong said they were "adequately prepared" to scale up AI, with security, speed to market, and "unseen or unconscious bias" among the key barriers, according to Lenovo.

Only 35 per cent of Hong Kong CIOs surveyed said that the leadership of their organisations had a strong understanding of AI and related technologies.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.