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China's Didi doubles down on AI with new lab

Ride-hailing giant adds Beijing facility to growing R&D network

Didi Chuxing President Jean Liu delivers a speech at the Friday launch of DiDi AI Labs.

BEIJING -- Didi Chuxing said Friday that it has opened an artificial intelligence R&D center here, with an eye toward improving its ride-hailing platform and developing smart transportation systems to tackle such issues as congestion.

The new DiDi AI Labs further expands the No. 1 Chinese ride-booking company's research and development network, which already includes two facilities in California. The Beijing lab will research solutions to transportation challenges using such technologies as natural language processing, deep learning and big data analysis. It employs more than 200 scientists and engineers from around the world, with plans to add more later this year.

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