Chinese artificial intelligence company Sensetime on Thursday announced several partnerships with state-owned conglomerate Nam Kwong Group, among others, which will bolster its business in Macau, as the gambling center is rushing to become a tech innovation hub in Asia.

Why it matters: The partnerships, in part a reflection of Sensetime’s ongoing investment in Macau, are expected to enhance the artificial intelligence giant’s outreach in the city and prop up the local economy.

Details: Sensetime is teaming up with Nam Kwong Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise specializing in infrastructure and transport services, and expanding partnership with Macau’s Kiang Wu Hospital to support the city’s digital transformation efforts, the company announced Thursday at the Beyond Expo Macau 2021 event.

  • State-owned Nam Kwong Group will work with Sensetime to adopt the AI technology in various applications including hotel management, public transport, and electric power grid, among others with a goal to improve urban safety, governance efficiency, and environmental protection, according to a statement. 
  • The Chinese AI unicorn claimed that its algorithms could improve the accuracy of detection of benign and malignant lung nodules by 20% and increase the efficiency by 50% compared with human doctors. Kiang Wu Hospital has been using Sensetime’s assisted diagnosis and treatment technologies such as chest x-ray software starting 2020. 

Context: Chinese AI companies have been thriving with surging demand for their image recognition software, as local governments are adopting the technology to fight against the pandemic.

  • Sensetime last month had reportedly secured approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for its initial public offering, seeking to raise at least $1 billion. The company was valued at more than $10 billion in a 2020 funding round.
  • The company’s revenue nearly doubled to RMB 1.65 billion (around $260 million) in the first half of 2021, with a net loss of RMB 3.7 billion in the same period. It is currently Asia’s biggest AI software provider by revenue, according to a Frost & Sullivan report commissioned by SenseTime in its prospectus.

Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen