A fundamental difference in the mindset of Chinese citizens, compared to people in other major economies, means that artificial intelligence (AI) could see significant success in the Asian powerhouse, Edith Yeung, head of 500 Startups' China unit, told CNBC Tuesday.
Speaking to CNBC's Eunice Yoon, Yeung described how technology consumers were starting to want more protection for their data from large-scale platforms, namechecking the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — which came into force earlier this year.
But in China, Yeung described a different view on data protection.
"Chinese people are aware of it (data protection) but in general if you talk to most of the normal people they understand there could be big platforms that have access to their data but they're OK with it because of the national pride of wanting to help to be the number one in AI for the whole of China. That mindset is even greater then 'hey I just want to protect my data'," she said at East Tech West in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.
"China is so interesting because there is so much data," she added, suggesting that this willingness from the Chinese public will aid data-hungry firms who are looking to enhance and launch new AI projects.
"I think there are a lot of Chinese citizens really proud of the fact that we're actually big enough to even be able to compete with the U.S. in terms of AI. And I think it is just a really exciting time to be in China."