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The billion-dollar, Alibaba-backed AI company that's quietly watching everyone in China

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Most Chinese consumers have likely never heard of SenseTime. But depending on where they live, it might be looking at their faces several times a day. If a person goes shopping at Suning, one of China's largest electronics retailers, it's possible that a camera in the store is tracking her behavior using SenseTime's software. Later, if she opens Rong360, a peer-to-peer lending app, she'll be asked to login using facial recognition--powered by SenseTime. She might send a video of herself to her friends on SNOW, a Snapchat-esque chat app, donning animated sunglasses built by SenseTime.


Chinese AI companies targeted with new additions to US blacklist

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Donald Trump's latest salvo against China threatens to derail a $1 billion coming-out party for a prominent startup backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., while curtailing the country's broader ambitions of leading artificial intelligence in the coming decade. The US placed eight Chinese technology giants on a US blacklist on Monday, accusing them of being implicated in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in the country's far-western region of Xinjiang. Among those singled out for sweeping American export restrictions were SenseTime Group Ltd., the world's largest AI startup, and Megvii Technology Ltd. -- two giant enterprises Beijing is counting on to spearhead advances into a revolutionary technology, aided by billions of dollars in foreign backing. The White House's actions -- announced days before sensitive trade negotiations resume in Washington -- cast a pall over not just Megvii's capital-raising effort but the burgeoning Chinese sector. Leading players like SenseTime and Megvii, already having trouble securing financing during an economic downturn, had considered international forays to sustain a sizzling pace of growth.


China Is Quickly Becoming an AI Superpower

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Last year, China's government put out its plan to lead the world in AI by 2030. As Eric Schmidt has explained, "It's pretty simple. By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI."


U.S. blacklisting threatens to derail $1 billion Chinese tech IPO

The Japan Times

HONG KONG/BEIJING – Donald Trump's latest salvo against China threatens to derail a $1 billion coming-out party for a prominent startup backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., while curtailing the country's broader ambitions of leading artificial intelligence in the coming decade. The U.S. placed eight Chinese technology giants on a U.S. blacklist Monday, accusing them of being implicated in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in the country's far-western region of Xinjiang. Among those singled out for sweeping American export restrictions were SenseTime Group Ltd., the world's largest AI startup, and Megvii Technology Ltd. -- two giant enterprises Beijing is counting on to spearhead advances into a revolutionary technology, aided by billions of dollars in foreign backing. The White House's actions -- announced days before sensitive trade negotiations resume in Washington -- cast a pall over not just Megvii's capital-raising effort but the burgeoning Chinese sector. Leading players like SenseTime and Megvii, already having trouble securing financing during an economic downturn, had considered international forays to sustain a sizzling pace of growth.


Facial Recognition In China Is Big Business As Local Governments Boost Surveillance

NPR Technology

The entrance to SenseTime headquarters in Beijing shows who among the company's employees is inside the office and who is not (faded and tinted blue). The entrance to SenseTime headquarters in Beijing shows who among the company's employees is inside the office and who is not (faded and tinted blue). Dozens of cameras meet visitors to the Beijing headquarters of SenseTime, China's largest artificial intelligence company. One of them determines whether the door will open for you; another tracks your movements. The one that marketing assistant Katherine Xue is gazing into, in the company's showroom, broadcasts an image of my face with white lines emanating from my eyes, nose and corners of my mouth.