Nov 09, 2021 08:52 AM

CX Daily: China’s AI Quartet Walk Through the Valley of Death

AI /

Cover Story: China’s AI quartet walk through the valley of death

China’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) companies are racing for public share sales even as investors’ appetite for new issues is waning, making it harder for them to generate fresh funding to sustain growth.

The road to initial public offerings (IPOs) has been rocky for the country’s largest AI enterprises as the trade and technology face-off between China and the U.S. complicates their prospects. Broader market volatility and investors’ loss of patience with the new technology’s commercial outlook also pose challenges.

SenseTime Group Inc., Megvii, CloudWalk Technology and Yitu Internet Technology Co. Ltd. are the early leaders of China’s AI industry and are known as the “AI quartet.” Specializing in facial recognition technology, the four account for nearly 60% of China’s highly competitive AI machine vision market.


The Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 7. Photo: VCG

Meeting /

Caixin Explains: Why the Communist Party’s sixth plenum is so important

The sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) began Monday in Beijing, according to state media.

The much-anticipated, four-day closed-door session will deliberate on a resolution “on the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC’s 100 years of endeavors,” which has been touted as being of “historic significance.”

Two days ahead of the plenary, the official Xinhua News Agency published a profile of President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, who will preside over the plenary.

Fintech /

Ant Group reshuffles consumer loan business to make it clear who’s actually doing the lending

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group Co. Ltd. launched a major reshuffle of its consumer lending business that seeks to draw a line between its own financial services and those provided by third-party banks and its other partners.

The reshuffle is part of a broader overhaul that the Jack Ma-owned Ant Group has undertaken to meet tightened regulatory requirements for fintech platforms since authorities abruptly halted the company’s $34.5 billion IPO plan late last year.

Corruption /

Chart of the Day: Corruption at China’s biggest policy bank

China punished or announced probes into at least nine executives at the China Development Bank (CDB), the country’s biggest policy bank, this year as the crackdown on financial sector graft continues.

The latest investigation to be revealed centers around Hong Zhenghua, a former president of the CDB’s Yunnan branch. He is suspected of “serious violation of (Communist Party) discipline and law,” a common euphemism for graft, according to an official statement last week (link in Chinese).

Covid-19 /

More Chinese cities adopt broader ‘space-time’ criteria for labeling Covid case close contacts

More Chinese cities have followed in Beijing’s footsteps by adopting so-called “space-time” rules to designate the close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases, taking up the more expansive criteria as they scramble to contain the latest outbreak which has spread to most provincial regions.

Since Wednesday, many residents in the southwestern city of Chengdu have received notifications from the local authorities saying they have been identified as being in the same “space-time company” as Covid-19 patients and might be at risk.

Merck says it’s working with China to bring in its Covid pill

Pfizer develops Covid pill that cuts hospitalizations and deaths by 89%

Quick hits /

Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi ramps up global expansion amid domestic crackdown

China posts record trade surplus as exports surge


EDward Gaming celebrates after winning the League of Legends World Championship on Saturday in Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: VCG

Gaming /

Shanghai esports team wins League of Legends World Championship

Shanghai-based EDward Gaming (EDG) defeated defending champions Damwon Kia to win the League of Legends World Championship over the weekend, a victory that could spur enthusiasm in China for esports even as Beijing toughens its rules on minors’ gaming habits.

The 3-2 win over their South Korean rivals was unexpected, as EDG — which represented China’s League of Legends Pro League — had never previously advanced past the quarterfinals. Saturday’s win made EDG the third Chinese esports team to win the championship, hosted by U.S. developer Riot Games since 2011, following FunPlus Phoenix in 2019 and Invictus Gaming in 2018.

Energy /

Sinopec and Sinochem sign long-term U.S. LNG contracts

Two Chinese energy majors announced bumper long-term deals to import liquid natural gas (LNG) from U.S. firms this month, continuing a trend that comes amid skyrocketing prices of the fuel source.

Sinochem Group Co. Ltd. announced a 17 1/2-year deal to buy as much as 1.8 million tons annually from Cheniere Energy Inc. Nov. 5, while China’s largest oil refiner, Sinopec, announced a 20-year contract with Venture Holding LNG to import 4 million tons of LNG annually Nov. 4.

China’s coal imports double after power shortage boosted demand

Education /

Prestigious British private school abandons plan for Chinese branches

One of the U.K.’s most prestigious private schools abandoned its plan to set up branches in China after new education rules erected further barriers for foreign participation in the education sector.

On Tuesday, Westminster School said it would not open a 2,000-pupil school in Chengdu, Southwest China’s Sichuan province, which would have been the first of six offshoots under a 2017 plan to enter the Chinese market.

China’s biggest private tutor to close nearly all of its 1,500-plus learning centers

Haier /

Haier founder Zhang Ruimin to step down as chairman

Zhang Ruimin, the legendary founder and chairman of Chinese home appliances and electronics giant Haier Group, is stepping down, the company said Friday in a statement.

Haier President Zhou Yunjie will succeed him as chairman and chief executive officer, and Executive Vice President Liang Haishan will replace Zhou as president, the company said.

Quick hits /

China’s domestic sportwear brands rapidly closing on Nike, Adidas

Clover Biopharmaceuticals shares fall on Hong Kong debut


Shenzhou-13 crew completes first spacewalk

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