Biz / Tech

Giant expands AI with US$4.5b Israeli acquisition

If regulators approve Giant's takeover of Playtika, it would be one of the biggest overseas moves by a Chinese dot-com company.

China's securities regulator is reviewing Shanghai-based Giant Network Technology's 30.5 billion yuan (US$4.49 billion) planned acquisition of Israel-based artificial intelligence firm Playtika.

It would be one of the biggest overseas acquisitions in the Chinese industry if approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Shenzhen-listed Giant halted trading for "asset reorganization" yesterday morning and will resume after a decision by the regulator.

The acquisition represents Giant’s expansion into AI intelligence and globalization.

Playtika, founded in 2010, has more than 1,500 employees globally with research centers in the United States, Canada, Japan and Ukraine.

As the biggest Internet firm in Israel, it has services covering from data analysis, gamification and optimizing.

Playtika has 20 million active monthly users and processes over 6 terabytes of data a day.

It uses AI to help clients, including gaming firms, gain a deeper understanding of customers, push targeted optimization and offer personalized experiences.

Giant will use 25.5 billion yuan of shares and 5 billion yuan in cash to acquire Playtika. Giant chairman Shi Yuzhu is contributing 5 billion yuan.

Besides the gaming industry, Playtika’s AI technology can be used in various sectors including travel, online marketplaces, media and entertainment and otherwise.

It meets the long-term national strategy to develop AI in China.

China is pushing the development of the AI industry and is aiming for a core market worth more than 150 billion yuan by 2020, according to the State Council, China’s cabinet.

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