Megvii is another of the stars in China’s artificial intelligence sector. It is best known for its open-source facial recognition platform Face++, which generates income from three main applications: AI on consumer devices; supply chain monitoring; and smart-city initiatives, including the monitoring of residents in more than 100 Chinese cities.
However, Megvii’s support of surveillance services have led to sanctioning by the US government, which alleges that its facial recognition technology is being used improperly in Xinjiang. The embargo on supplies of American parts saw Megvii drop a plan for an IPO in Hong Kong two years ago.
Earlier this year it filed for a listing on Shanghai’s STAR Market to raise $922 million in fresh funding, mostly for R&D. Regulators have approved the application, although there is no date yet for the proposed IPO, when Megvii will become the first of China’s AI ‘dragons’ to go public.
Alibaba and Ant are lead investors, holding almost a third of Megvii’s shares in the run-up to the IPO.
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