China's investment in artificial intelligence (AI) takes a step forward with Sinovation Ventures's move to name new officials. (Photo : YouTube Screenshot)
Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese company that invests in startups, aims to improve its involvement in enhancing the artificial intelligence (AI) sector by naming top talents to several of its key positions, coming from the likes of tech giants Google and Microsoft.
The AI institute of Sinovation Ventures now counts Google senior engineer Wang Yonggang and Microsoft Research researcher Wang Jiaping as its new members, China Tech News reported. Their respective experiences in two of Silicon Valley's most valuable firms are expected to raise the stakes in AI investment.
Huang Huiwen, ex-marketing director of Google China, also joined Sinovation Ventures as one of its partners as well as its chief marketing officer.
The firm also recruited Xiong Hao, formerly Legend Capital's investment vice-president, as its general manager and investment director for the South China region.
Announcements on Sinovation Ventures's recently occupied positions were made back in Sept. 2016, when the firm's chairman and chief executive officer Kai-Fu Lee stated that the firm will recalibrate its investments on startups as it moves forward.
Such move followed Sinovation Ventures's successful fundraising through two venture funds worth $675 million.
Foxconn Technology Group is the firm's anchor investor, while International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's investment arm, also invested in the firm, formerly known as Innovation Works.
Kai Fu-Lee also sealed a deal with Hong Kong real estate giant Zall Group to form a private equity investment fund. Said agreement aims to raise 500 million yuan for investment in areas involved in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector, including intelligent trading, supply chain, and logistics.
Sinovation Ventures's AI institute is central to the firm's thrust toward AI development. Joining vice directors Wang Yonggang and Wang Jiaping are data science vice president Shi Xiaohan (Microsoft and Twitter) and senior technology manager Zhong Dawei (IBM, LightInBox, and SnapPea).