Briefing: Facial recognition firm Megvii seeks $800 million IPO

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Chinese AI start-up Megvii said to plan IPO in either Hong Kong or New York to raise up to US$800 million – South China Morning Post

What happened: Artificial intelligence startup Megvii is reportedly looking to raise up to $800 million in an initial public offering (IPO) as early as June this year, though the company has not decided whether to go public in Hong Kong or New York. Megvii provides its computer vision technologies to companies including Foxconn, Ant Financial, Lenovo, and Xiaomi. It is also used by China’s public security organs, contributing to the arrests of more than 5,000 people since 2016.

Why it’s important: China is home to the largest number of AI unicorns in the world, with various facial recognition firms seeking IPOs this year. Megvii’s listing could serve as a litmus test for those thinking about following the company to the capital markets. Meanwhile, China hopes to become a leader in AI by 2030 through a variety of applications, from healthcare to public security and autonomous vehicles.