The well known artificial intelligence (AI) firm SenseTime, valued at $7.5 billion, has officially partnered with China’s digital currency research institute, an offshoot of the Chinese Central Bank, to help in accelerating the creation of digital yuan.
SenseTime, which is based in Hong Kong, announced that the deal will see the startup offer its expertise on accelerating, innovating as well as implementing the applications for AI technology within the Chinese financial sector.
SenseTime and China’s Central Bank – The Finer Print
According to the deal, SenseTime will collaborate with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to enhance risk control as well as operational capacity among the financial institutions across China.
SenseTime will now consult the Digital Currency Research Institute in the creation of a joint research division that will oversee the adoption of AI within the financial space in China.
“The two parties will jointly establish a research and innovation body, take application scenarios as guidance, jointly develop applications of AI technology in financial scenarios, and accelerate the advancement of AI innovation research in the financial field.”
SenseTime’s Background of Exciting Innovation
Established in 2014, SenseTime provides expert services on facial recognition as well as images but on a large scale. The startup has since attracted numerous clients and partners over time such as Weibo, Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Huawei.
The firm is backed by Alibaba, which led SenseTime’s funding round with an investment of $600 million back in 2018. SenseTime is also backed by big names such as Temasek Holdings (Singapore’s state investment company), SoftBank Vision Fund, Qualcomm Ventures, and others.
China has been keen on the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), and is currently conducting a pilot program of its digital yuan in four cities including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, and Xiongan.
The American restaurant giants McDonald’s and Starbucks are some of the firms involved in digital yuan piloting in Xiong’an, for example. Reportedly, China is aiming to introduce the use of digital yuan across the country in May 2020.