Though the Google online search engine is banned in China, the parent company of the tech giant has embarked on a hiring spree in China, the largest internet market in the world and the second-biggest economy on the planet. The search giant is recruiting engineers who have a specialty in artificial intelligence, one of the hottest technology areas currently.
On its jobs site, Google has advertised four positions that are related to artificial intelligence. This includes a technical lead who will be charged with the responsibility of building a team that will work on data compression, language processing as well as other technologies related to machine learning. Some of the machine-learning jobs are in the cloud computing operation of Alphabet though Google Cloud currently has no operations in China and would be required to have special licenses and a local partner in order to set up business in the world’s most populous country.
In artificial intelligence China is being seen as possessing advantages compared to the United States since it has a bigger population that is online and also because limitations due to privacy issues are minimal.
“China has a lot of data from mobile payments, gaming, social, search and news. Technology companies like Google are keen to learn what’s going on and getting large amounts of data to create AI algorithms is very important to them,” said IDC’s managing director for China, Kitty Fok.
On Google’s careers web page close to 60 positions are available in Shanghai and Beijing and sources say the online search giant is concentrating on enhancing its algorithms’ quality as well as getting top talent.
Google quit its Chinese operations seven years ago over censorship worries. A cyberattack which led to the theft of the search giant’s proprietary computer code and which was attributed to Chinese hackers also assisted in hastening Google’s departure from the world’s largest internet market. In order to use Google’s search engine in China, a virtual private network has to be used as they offer a way of bypassing the internet filtering system deployed by the Chinese government.
Despite the exit from China, Google has maintained a barebones operation in the country and this is what some analysts believe the tech giant is seeking to expand. Earlier in the year, an executive of Google Cloud, Jia Li, had revealed at an event held in Wuzhen city that the online search giant would be hiring AI engineers to increase to the over 500 employees located in Shanghai and Beijing.