According to IDC Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, China’s AI investment is expected to reach $26.69 billion in 2026, accounting for almost 8.9% of global investment and ranking second in the world.
In recent years, more enterprises are getting involved in the Digintelligence Era. They have started deploying digital transformation (DX) and intelligent upgrading, which has thus spawned more demand for AI.
For the next five years, the hardware market will be the most significant primary market in China’s AI market. It will account for more than half of the gross AI investment. According to IDC, China’s IT investment in the artificial intelligence hardware market will exceed $15 billion in 2026, almost reaching the AI hardware market size of the US.
With the steady improvement of AI infrastructure construction, hardware growth will gradually pace down, with the five-year CAGR remaining around 16.5%. The server market, as the central part of the hardware market, will account for over 80% over the five-year forecast period.
Simultaneously, the services market will expand faster, with the five-year CAGR expected to be almost 29.6%. Total investment in the services market is estimated to exceed $4 billion in 2026, which is near 4x the investment in 2021, with notable market growth. The AI services market is mainly dominated by the IT services segment. IDC has predicted that IT services will lead the services market growth at a five-year CAGR of 31.0%.
IDC predicts that the AI-related spending in the four major endpoint industries, viz. professional services, government, finance, and telecom, will continue to lead over the five-year forecast period, collectively exceeding 60% of the total spending of China’s AI market.