Megvii

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Megvii Technology Limited
Privately held
IndustryTechnology
GenreArtificial intelligence
Founded2011 in Beijing, China
Total equityUSD $4 billion (2019)
Number of employees
2,349 (2019)
Websitemegvii.com/en/

Megvii is a Chinese technology company[1] that designs image recognition and deep-learning software.[2] Based in Beijing, the company develops artificial intelligence (AI) technology for businesses and for the public sector.[3] In 2019, the company was valued at USD $4 billion.[4] Megvii is the largest provider of third-party authentication software in the world,[4] and its product, Face++, is the world’s largest open-source computer vision platform.[5]

History[edit]

The company was founded in Beijing[1] with Megvii standing for "mega vision."[6] The company's core product, Face++, launched in 2012 as the first online facial recognition platform in China.[7] In 2015 Megvii created Brain++, a deep-learning engine to help train its algorithms.[2]

Megvii raised $100 million in 2016,[6][1] $460 million in 2017[8] and $750 million in May 2019.[9]

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.[10][11] In 2017 and 2018,[11] Megvii beat Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in tests of image recognition at the International Conference on Computer Vision.[12]

In May 2019, the Human Rights Watch reported finding Face++ code in the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), a police surveillance app used to collect data on the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.[9] Shortly after the report, the Trump administration reportedly considered adding Megvii to a blacklist of banned Chinese entities.[11] 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.[3]

In June 2019, Megvii had 2,349 employees,[13] and was valued at over $4 billion,[3] as the "world’s biggest provider of third-party authentication software",[4] with 339 corporate clients in 112 cities in China.[13] The Chinese government employs Megvii software.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Qingqing, Chen (August 12, 2017). "Beijing-based tech start-up has a big edge on facial recognition". Global Times. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Barrett, Eamon (October 28, 2018). "In China, Facial Recognition Tech Is Watching You". Fortune. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Ever better and cheaper, face-recognition technology is spreading". The Economist. September 9, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Feifel, Fan (January 12, 2017). "Megvii gives a digital meaning to face-reading". China Daily. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b Liao, Rita (May 8, 2019). "Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  10. ^ (Chen, Avery) "AI unicorn plans HK$3.9b stock sale ", The Standard, September 9, 2019.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Yang, Yuan (November 1, 2017). "China pours millions into facial recognition start-up Face++". Financial Times. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  13. ^ a b (Li, Isabelle and Zhanqi, Ye) "Risks Mount for Chinese AI Firm as It Heads for IPO", Caxin Global, September 9, 2019.