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Megvii Technology Limited
TypePrivately held
GenreArtificial intelligence
Founded2011 in Beijing, China
Total equityUSD $4 billion (2019)
Number of employees
2,349 (2019) Edit this at Wikidata

Megvii (Chinese: 旷视; pinyin: Kuàngshì) is a Chinese technology company that designs image recognition and deep-learning software.[1] Based in Beijing, the company develops artificial intelligence (AI) technology for businesses and for the public sector.[2]

Megvii is the largest provider of third-party authentication software in the world,[3] and its product, Face++, is the world's largest computer vision platform.[4] In 2019, the company was valued at $USD 4 billion.[3]

The company has faced U.S. investment and export restrictions due to allegations of aiding the Uyghur genocide.


The company was founded in Beijing with Megvii standing for "mega vision."[5] The company's core product, Face++, launched in 2012 as the first online facial recognition platform in China.[6] In 2015 Megvii created Brain++, a deep-learning engine to help train its algorithms.[1]

Megvii raised $100 million in 2016,[5] $460 million in 2017[7] and $750 million in May 2019.[8]

In 2017, Megvii marketed authentication and computational photography functions to smart phone companies and mobile application developers, then smart logistics. Megvii's AI-empowered products include personal IoT, city IoT and supply chain IoT.[9][10] In 2017 and 2018,[10] Megvii beat Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in tests of image recognition at the International Conference on Computer Vision.[11]

By June 2019, Megvii had 2,349 employees,[12] and was valued at over $4 billion,[2] as the "world’s biggest provider of third-party authentication software",[3] with 339 corporate clients in 112 cities in China.[12] The Chinese government employs Megvii software.[10]

In May 2019, Human Rights Watch reported finding Face++ code in the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), a police surveillance app used to collect data on, and track the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.[8] Human Rights Watch released a correction to its report in June 2019 stating that Megvii did not appear to have collaborated on IJOP, and that the Face++ code in the app was inoperable.[2]

In March 2020, Megvii announced that it would make its deep learning framework MegEngine open-source.[13]

U.S. sanctions[edit]

Megvii was sanctioned by the U.S. Government, and placed on the United States Bureau of Industry and Security's Entity List on October 9, 2019, due to the use of its technology for human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.[14][10] In December 2021, the United States Department of the Treasury prohibited all U.S. investment in Megvii, accusing the company of complicity in aiding the Uyghur genocide.[15]


  1. ^ a b Sun, Yiting (August 11, 2017). "Meet the Company That's Using Face Recognition to Reshape China's Tech Scene". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Dai, Sarah (June 5, 2019). "AI unicorn Megvii not behind app used for surveillance in Xinjiang, says human rights group". South China Morning Post. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Dai, Sarah (May 29, 2019). "Rising Chinese AI star Megvii gets caught in the US-China tech war". South China Morning Post. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Barrett, Eamon (October 28, 2018). "In China, Facial Recognition Tech Is Watching You". Fortune. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Ever better and cheaper, face-recognition technology is spreading". The Economist. September 9, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Feifel, Fan (January 12, 2017). "Megvii gives a digital meaning to face-reading". China Daily. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Jacob, Harrison (July 8, 2018). "Inside the creepy and impressive startup funded by the Chinese government that is developing AI that can recognize anyone, anywhere". Business Insider. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Liao, Rita (May 8, 2019). "Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  9. ^ (Chen, Avery) "AI unicorn plans HK$3.9b stock sale ", The Standard, September 9, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d Bergen, Mark (May 24, 2019). "Trump's Latest China Target Includes a Rising Star in AI". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Yang, Yuan (November 1, 2017). "China pours millions into facial recognition start-up Face++". Financial Times. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Risks Mount for Chinese AI Firm as It Heads for IPO". Caixin. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  13. ^ "Megvii makes deep learning AI framework open-source as China moves to reduce reliance on US platforms". SCMP. Retrieved Mar 26, 2020.
  14. ^ "Addition of Certain Entities to the Entity List". Federal Register. 2019-10-09. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  15. ^ Alper, Alexandra; Psaledakis, Daphne (2021-12-17). "U.S. curbs Chinese drone maker DJI, other firms it accuses of aiding rights abuses". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-12-17.

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