A computer system that can track and identify any face anywhere may sound like science fiction, but, in China, two such companies are barreling ahead at making such technology an everyday reality. The two startups, SenseTime and Megvii, are developing competing facial recognition platforms powered by artificial intelligence. SenseTime became the world’s highest-valued AI startup after raising $600 million in April at a valuation of $4.5 billion.
The company raised another $620 million last month. Megvii isn’t far behind. It raised $460 million last November. While the valuation hasn’t been disclosed, it’s likely that it is close to or tops $2 billion. Two smaller Chinese companies include Yitu Technology, which raised $380 million last year, and DeepGlint. The eye-popping valuations shouldn’t be surprising to anyone paying attention. Last year, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to make the country the world leader in AI and to develop an AI industry worth $150 billion by 2030. READ MORE