May 8, 2019 - Technology

Chinese facial recognition startup Face++ raises $750 million

Face++, a Chinese developer of facial recognition technology, raised $750 million at a valuation just north of $4 billion. Reuters reports that the company also has hired bankers for a Hong Kong IPO that's expected for later this year.

Why it matters: This comes just days after Human Rights Watch reported that Face++ technology is being used by the Chinese government to identify potential terrorists — an extensive and highly-subjective data collection process that has helped result in the detention of over 1 million Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang region.

Investor details: Bank of China Group Investment led with a $200 million infusion, and was joined by Macquarie Group, ICBC Asset Management, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and return backer Alibaba.

The bottom line, via Axios' Dave Lawler: "It's been two years since the internment camps first came to light internationally, and a series of reports from Xinjiang have made vivid the scale of the abuses. Yet foreign governments and corporations are content to pretend it isn't happening."

Go deeper: State Dept. says China's treatment of Uighur Muslims worst "since the 1930s"

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