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Chinese professor raises $ 3.4 billion in assets with SenseTime’s IPO

Chinese professor raises $ 3.4 billion in assets with SenseTime’s IPO Markets By Sydney Barrett Last updated Dec 28, 2021 Share (Bloomberg) – Just weeks after the US blacklisted a unit of SenseTime Group Inc. for alleged human rights abuses, the company is in the process of making founder Tang Xiao’ou one of the richest people in the world. Most read by Bloomberg China’s largest artificial intelligence company has listed its IPO at HK $ 3.85 (49 cents) per share. That was the lower end of the expected range, but a signal that despite mounting tensions with the US and Beijing’s crackdown on tech giants, including its vast surveillance machinery, the country continues to generate huge fortunes and profits for venture capitalists. Tang, 53, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professor of information technology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, holds a 21% stake in the company and is worth $ 3.4 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. A SenseTime representative declined to comment on Tang’s net worth. SenseTime has long been expected as a blockbuster stock market offering but has caught fire in recent years. It was forced to postpone listing this month after the US claimed the company’s facial recognition software was being used in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in western China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. SenseTime considers the allegations that led to the sanctions to be unfounded. SenseTime is the first overseas offer from a high-profile Chinese tech unicorn since the IPO of ridesharing giant Didi Global Inc. in New York in July sparked a regulatory backlash from Beijing officials. The shares are scheduled to trade in Hong Kong on December 30, giving the company a market value of more than $ 16 billion. The story goes on Tang has long been involved in the development of the artificial intelligence required for face recognition. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Science and Technology of China, then graduated from the University of Rochester, New York, and received his PhD from MIT in 1996, where he studied underwater robotics and computer vision. He worked for Microsoft Research Asia for a few years and founded the Shanghai-based SenseTime SoftBank Group Corp., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014 together with Xu Li, then a researcher at the Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo Group Ltd. and Silver Lake. According to the prospectus, it is now the largest AI software company in Asia with a market share of 11%. The technology is used in a number of areas including helping the police in China, providing product placements in movies, and creating an augmented reality scene in a mobile game by Tencent Holdings Ltd. SenseTime restarted its IPO process days after the blacklist, with a group of corner investors increasing their stakes from $ 450 million to $ 512 million. These included the government-backed mixed ownership reform fund and Shanghai Xuhui Capital Investment Co. The company later uploaded a legal opinion to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, claiming the restrictions did not apply to the parent company of the sanctioned entity. While the offer size remained the same, private investors were more cautious as the shares were oversubscribed 2.3 times, less than in the previous subscription. “It makes sense that retail investors looking for short-term gains may be less excited about the sanction factor,” said Kenny Ng, strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai. “Mainly because the Hong Kong stock market has not been doing well overall lately.” SenseTime’s revenue rose 14% to 3.4 billion yuan ($ 534 million) last year, but it still recorded an operating loss of 1.8 billion yuan. “Technology companies need to invest more in research and development at an early stage to keep their technology competitive,” said Ng. “For SenseTime, maintaining stable income growth is more important than becoming profitable in the short term.” Most read of Bloomberg Businessweek © 2021 Bloomberg LP Share

Chinese professor raises $ 3.4 billion in assets with SenseTime’s IPO comes via ChinaTechNews.com.

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