Google has made its first direct investment in China since their 2010 exile, putting up an undisclosed amount into existing  partner Mobvoi, an AI company building Chinese voice search functionality for Android devices on the mainland.

Google’s investment is in the tens of millions, and is a contribution to Mobvoi’s C series, bringing the company’s total investment to $75 million USD.

The Chinese company, which is founded by former Google employees, found a niche in its early days as a replacement for the banned Google services. The company is still relatively small, but is known for its voice search software as well as its own smartwatch OS and device called Ticwear.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com