Zhangjiajie, Huaihua, China — photo by @sortino

Baidu’s PaddlePaddle

The first open-source deep-learning platform in China

Alex Moltzau
2 min readJul 1, 2020


There is a lot that can be said about AI in China, yet one aspect that is often forgotten is the open-source frameworks that are developed. China can often be viewed as a closed country, however it is not in all cases when it comes to software.

There are several other AI frameworks such as Google’s TensorFlow and Facebook’s PyTorch.

However a large Chinese company is also interested in developing tools for deep learning.

Baidu is one of the largest AI and internet companies in the world.

Since Baidu runs the Chinese search engine it runs one of the largest websites in the world.

Baidu’s PaddlePaddle, is as such the first open-source deep-learning platform in China. It was open-sourced in 2016.

PaddlePaddle aims to provide software developers of all skill levels with the tools, services, and resources they need.

The platform helps developers build applications.

One example features in the MIT Technology Review is how PaddlePaddle is used in forest management:

“In Southeast Asia, AI-powered forest drones have helped 155 forestry bureaus expand the range of forest inspections from 40% to 100% and perform up to 200% more efficiently than manual inspections.

Baidu’s PaddlePaddle is according to the same article used by: “… more than 1.9 million developers and 84,000 enterprises globally.”

As such, they have already built a tool or framework that has grown popular.

  • PaddlePaddle offers 146 algorithms and has advanced more than 200 pretraining models.
  • First in the world of its kind, supports the training of deep neural networks with more than 100 billion features and trillions of parameters using data sources distributed over hundreds of nodes.
  • PaddlePaddle is compatible with other open-source frameworks for model training, and it also accelerates the inference of deep neural networks for a variety of processors and hardware platforms.

These are all plenty of good enough reasons at least to consider learning more about PaddlePaddle.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 393. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.



Alex Moltzau

AI Policy, Governance, Ethics and International Partnerships at www.nora.ai. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau