Chinese Artificial Intelligence startup SenseTime has reported that it expects revenue for the 2019 fiscal year to come in at $750 million, despite being one of a number of Chinese entities placed on a U.S. blacklist in October.
SenseTime, which has its headquarters in Hong Kong and has reported its valuation at more than $7.5 billion, has provided facial recognition, video analyzing and autonomous driving AI technologies to firms such as US-based chip-maker Qualcomm.
In October, the United States Commerce Department released a list of 28 Chinese entities that were implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. SenseTime and China-based competitor Megvii were among those listed, along with six other tech firms and a number of government agencies.
Companies on the blacklist are said to have contributed to the Chinese Government’s detainment and surveillance of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighur Muslim’s in the northwestern Xinjiang region of China.
The inclusion on the blacklist forbids US-based companies from selling to them, however this hasn’t prevented SenseTime from seeing a 200% increase in its revenue between 2018 and 2019, though it’s worth noting that this number is much lower than their growth from each of the previous two years, which was at 400%.
SenseTime has yet to fully disclose how it plans to deal with its inclusion on the blacklist, but according to the New York Times and Reuters, it has a contingency plan to begin the development of its own AI chips.
Meanwhile, Megvii’s inclusion on the blacklist has caused it to delay its planned IPO — originally planned for October of this year before being moved to November — to some time in 2020.
Source: The New York Times
December 10, 2019 – by Tony Bitzionis