Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center was established as China’s first LLM developer hub

  • Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center is China’s first LLM developer hub, attracting major AI firms and startups.
  • Over 60 LLM startups and 200+ firms have joined since its establishment, including Shanghai AI Lab.
  • Goal: 100,000 sqm office space, fostering thousands of industry applications, targeting a market scale of CNY1 trillion.
  • Initiatives include resource coordination, financial support from 41 investment institutions, and subsidies to reduce operational costs.
  • Shanghai’s conducive environment and strategic location make it an ideal hub for AI innovation.
  • The Center is already shaping up as a hotspot for China’s AI community, with 15 resident companies registering LLMs.

Main AI News:

Shanghai, known for its dynamism and innovation, has once again solidified its position as a global tech hub with the establishment of the Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center. This groundbreaking initiative marks China’s first industry hub dedicated to developers of large language models (LLMs), attracting a plethora of renowned artificial intelligence firms like SenseTime Group and burgeoning startups such as MiniMax.

Since its inception in September, the center, nestled in Xuhui district, has seen an impressive influx of more than 60 LLM startups and over 200 firms spanning the AI industry chain. Among its prestigious residents is the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which collaborates with Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, underscoring the center’s significance in the AI landscape.

Chen Haici, the general manager of the project operator, envisions the hub as a sprawling complex, boasting 100,000 square meters of office space and fostering a vibrant ecosystem of innovative enterprises. With an ambitious goal of achieving thousands of industry applications and a staggering industry scale of CNY1 trillion (USD138 billion), the center aims to be the epicenter of AI innovation in China.

Facilitating the success of resident AI enterprises is a top priority, with initiatives in place to streamline access to essential resources. From coordinating computing power usage to providing open data, evaluation, and financial services, the center aims to be a one-stop destination for AI innovation.

Shanghai’s allure as a conducive environment for innovation is unparalleled, asserts Chen. With its abundant resources, including capital, information, and diverse application scenarios, the city provides an ideal backdrop for AI ventures to thrive. Moreover, its strategic location and flexible market mechanisms position enterprises for global success, with seamless access to overseas markets.

Acknowledging the substantial investment required for training LLMs, the hub has forged partnerships with 41 investment institutions to provide crucial funding support to startups. Whether it’s seed funding, angel investment, or later-stage financing, financial institutions stand ready to fuel the growth of AI ventures.

Recognizing the significance of reducing operational costs for AI companies, the center extends subsidies to alleviate financial burdens. By offering essential services like computing power and data services coupled with financial incentives, the hub empowers firms to optimize their operations and bolster cash flows.

The collaborative spirit within the community fosters a robust industrial ecosystem, positioning the center as a magnet for AI innovation. With 15 resident companies already registering their LLMs as of February 29, the center is rapidly emerging as a pivotal hub for China’s burgeoning AI community, poised to shape the future of AI innovation on a global scale.


The emergence of Shanghai’s LLM developer hub signifies a pivotal shift in China’s AI landscape, consolidating the city’s position as a global tech powerhouse. With its strategic initiatives to support AI ventures and foster innovation, the hub not only catalyzes the growth of domestic AI firms but also positions China as a formidable player in the global AI market. This development underscores the increasing importance of collaborative ecosystems in driving technological innovation and economic growth.