Apr 9, 2018

China's SenseTime becomes most highly valued AI startup

SenseTime, a Beijing-based developer of facial recognition technologies, has raised $600 million in new funding at a valuation reported to be north of $4.5 billion.

Why it matters: Because that's the highest valuation ever for a privately-held AI company, but it also comes with more than a few privacy concerns.

Existing backer Alibaba led the round, which may soon get a bit larger, and was joined by Qualcomm, Temasek and Suning

Go deeper at CNN:

"SenseTime said as far as it knows, Chinese police have only used the company's tech to catch criminals. But critics have slammed the deployment of AI to track Chinese citizens, saying it violates privacy and targets political dissidents."

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Trump on coronavirus misinformation from China: "Every country does it"

President Trump brushed aside allegations that China — as well as Russia and Iran — are spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus during a 64-minute call with "Fox & Friends" on Monday, telling the hosts that "every country does it."

Why it matters: Multiple verified Chinese government Twitter accounts have promoted different conspiracy theories, and Chinese foreign ministry deputy spokesperson Zhao Lijian suggested that the virus come from a U.S. military lab, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports.

Go deeperArrow7 mins ago - World

Investment pros are selling while mom and pop buy the coronavirus dip

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As traders around the globe have frantically unloaded positions in recent weeks, so-called mom and pop retail investors have kept level heads and not sold out of stocks.

What they're saying: In fact, "the typical trader is buying equities on the dips," passive investment firm Vanguard notes in a research paper, adding that "older, wealthier traders are moving modestly to fixed income."

Zuckerberg: "Local journalism is incredibly important" to fighting coronavirus

Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg, signaling his personal involvement in a new Facebook commitment of $100 million to bolstering local journalism, told me that "very local work" is vital to his big mission of bringing the world closer together.

What he's saying: "Everyone believes that local journalism is incredibly important," Zuckerberg told Axios in a phone interview. "But everyone is connected to their local [outlets]. Figuring out how to make an impact, and support local journalism broadly and at scale, has been a challenge."