Qualcomm Invests in Nine China Startups, Including SenseTime, Mobike
U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. has announced investments in nine Chinese startups, including artificial-intelligence (AI) star SenseTime Group and bike-sharing firm Mobike.
The financial details have yet to be disclosed, but the company said the deals are part of its $150-million China Venture Fund, which was announced in 2014 and spans big data, AI and the “internet of things,” among other areas.
Hong Kong-based SenseTime claims to be the largest AI startup in the world, valued at over $1.5 billion. Qualcomm will seek to harness the firm’s expertise in proprietary AI algorithms – especially facial recognition – to make mobile smart devices.
“Given our shared vision and customers, our collaboration will reduce the cost of deploying AI technologies to intelligent devices, shorten the R&D cycle, and therefore rapidly upgrade the entire terminal device industry,” said Quinn Li, vice president and global head of Qualcomm Ventures.
Another notable recipient of the investment was Shanghai-based startup Mobike. This deal marks the bike-sharing giant’s latest success in securing funding from outside investors, as it expands into international markets.
In June, Mobike raised $600 million from a group backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and state-backed BOCOM International.
In May, Qualcomm signed a deal to employ its GPS function in Mobike’s smart locks, enabling the company and users to locate and monitor their bicycles.
Qualcomm is currently facing a $103 billion takeover bid from rival Broadcom Ltd. – an offer it rejected on Monday, saying it “dramatically” undervalued the company.
Qualcomm has been actively expanding its presence in China in recent years, a market that accounts for more than half of its revenue.
The company said last week that it signed $12 billion-worth of deals with Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi Inc., Oppo Electronics Corp. and Vivo Smartphone, as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to Beijing.
Contact reporter Mo Yelin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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