Briefing: Former Tencent AI Lab head joins Sinovation Ventures

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前腾讯AI Lab主任张潼加盟创新工场 兼任科研合伙人 – Sina Tech

What happened: Zhang Tong, former head of Tencent AI Lab, will join venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures as a research partner. Zhang will provide guidance for the company’s technology investment portfolio, AI-related early projects, and talent training in its incubator. The Stanford-trained AI expert was also appointed director of the Computer Perception and Intelligent Control Lab, jointly formed by Sinovation Ventures and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) on Wednesday in Hong Kong.

Why it’s important: With a $2 billion dual currency investment fund, Sinovation Ventures is one of the earliest investment firms focusing on Chinese startups in emerging technology sectors. The industry-academia partnership is expected to achieve breakthroughs in its research fields and boost the commercialization of AI, said Lee Kai-fu, founder of the VC and former Google China head, in an announcement. Zhang was the former founding director of Tencent’s AI Lab but left the company in December short of two years. At the time, his departure raised doubts about the gaming giant’s ambitions in fundamental research.