Bejing-based company Megvii (旷视科技), the developer of facial recognition product Face++, received a “service package” from the government, when a group of officials led by Communist Party Secretary of Beijing CAI Qi (蔡奇), visited the company on November 13.
Neither Megvii nor the government disclosed the details of “service package”, it can be interpreted as a sign that the Chinese government is introducing preferential policies to boost development of the private economy in the background of China-U.S. trade war. In the past months, Chinese top leaders have assured again and again that private enterprise is an inseparable part of China’s economy, and private business owners will be well protected by law.
Last July, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to make the country the world leader in AI (artificial intelligence) to develop an AI industry worth USD 15 billion by 2020, and USD 150 billion by 2030. Since then, more than 10 provinces released localized AI development plans. Beijing, the capital city, is the center of China’s AI industry.
Megvii is an AI unicorn, has completed four-rounds more than USD 1 billion investments from VCs and industry giants, its investors include billionaire Jack MA Yun’s Ant Financial, Foxconn, Boyu Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and China State-Owned Assets Venture Investment Fund.
Megvii provides facial recognition services to various clients; most of them are government’s security-related departments, Lenovo Group, Ant Financial, Vanke, Huawei, Didi, and China Merchants Bank are using its services. Recently Megvii is applying its technologies into the retail industry and invested a Beijing-based convenience store called Good Neighbor this month.
YIN Qi (印奇), the founder and CEO of Megvii, is a winner of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2016, his company Megvii, has more than 1500 employees at the end of 2017. SenseTime, the biggest competitor of Megvii, secured a USD 1 billion investment from SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund in September 2018, at a value more than USD 5 billion.
——Author: YuanPu; Write to YuanPu at YuanPu@EqualOcean.com