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SenseTime lures investment from Qualcomm under 'AI and chip' strategy

Qualcomm will also invest in other Chinese startups engaged in AI, online learning and sharing bike service.

SenseTime, China’s leading artificial intelligence unicorn startup, said today it has secured an investment from US chip giant Qualcomm to co-develop an “AI and chip” strategy to boost development of an on-device AI.

Separately,  Qualcomm  said today it will invest in nine Chinese startups including SenseTime and Mobike, but it didn't reveal the investment figures. The nine invested firms include those involved in AI, online learning and sharing bike service. Qualcomm's investments are noteworthy because the company recently rejected an acquisition proposal worth over US$100 billion from Broadcom.

The explosive growth of intelligent terminals has driven large-scale implementation of AI technology covering smartphones, cameras, robots and the Internet of Things. China has put out a national blueprint which envisions the value of the country's core AI industries to exceed 150 billion yuan (US$22.7 billion) by 2020 and 400 billion yuan by 2025.

“Given our shared vision and customers, the collaboration will offer customers more integrated solutions, reduce the cost of deploying AI technologies for intelligent device OEMs, shorten the R&D cycle, and therefore rapidly upgrade the entire terminal device industry,” Quinn Li, vice president and globalhHead of Qualcomm Ventures, said in a statement.

SenseTime, which announced a record-high financing of US$410 million in July, aims to bring AI technologies to more terminal devices and boost the development of an entire intelligent device ecosystem, said Xu Li, co-founder and CEO of SenseTime, which now has clients including China Mobile, UnionPay and Huawei.

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