Alibaba doubles down on facial recognition

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Alibaba Joins $600 Million Round for AI Startup Megvii– Bloomberg

What happened: Megvii Inc., the Chinese developer of facial recognition system Face++, reportedly raising at least $600 million from investors including Alibaba Group and Boyu Capital. Face++ offers face-scanning systems to companies including Lenovo and Ant Financial, etc.

Why it’s important: AI startups become the new darlings of Chinese investors who are ramping up their investments in deep tech companies. Megvii’s massive round comes shortly after a $620 million C round of another Alibaba-backed computer vision startup SenseTime. Its rival Yitu has just secured a $100 million funding. The emerging unicorns are competing in sectors such as retail, finance and smartphone and public security that could utilize facial recognition.