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HomeAI News & UpdatesTang Xiao'ou, Founder of China's AI Giant Sensetime, Passed Away

Tang Xiao’ou, Founder of China’s AI Giant Sensetime, Passed Away

Tang Xiao’ou, the wealthy creator of China’s AI behemoth SenseTime, died Friday of unspecified “health issues,” according to a statement issued by the partially state-owned corporation.

“It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Professor Tang Xiao’ou, our beloved founder, a renowned artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, director of Pujiang Lab, director of Shanghai AI Lab, and the Professor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong,” as per a statement released on Sunday in the People’s Republic of China. “Professor Tang passed away due to health issues on December 15, 2023, at 11:45 p.m.” The company’s obituary did not mention what type of illness Tang died from or whether his sickness was previously known.

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For a while after its 2014 founding, the contentious Chinese AI firm—which received investment and ties from the Chinese government—was the most valued AI startup in the world. The company uses artificial intelligence to create technologies such as facial recognition, object identification, and video and picture analysis.

The death of Tang follows accusations made by Grizzly Research, a US-based short-seller, that SenseTime, a Chinese AI firm, participated in “highly questionable revenue round-tripping schemes” wherein the company either directly or indirectly provided customers with funds to buy goods from SenseTime that may or may not have ever been delivered, thereby artificially inflating the firm’s revenue.

“We believe that SenseTime’s core facial recognition business has become notoriously unprofitable due to intense competition and the fact that the Chinese government simply does not make a practice of awarding highly profitable contracts to majority foreign-owned businesses,” Grizzly Research stated in a report that was released in November of this year.

Although SenseTime told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in a filing that its report had been “without merit and contains unfounded allegations and misleading conclusions and interpretations,” the accusations still had a big effect on the company’s stock, which dropped nearly 10% after the news. This brought its total losses to more than 40% so far this year and more than 80% since its IPO, according to Forbes. According to Forbes, Tang owned “$1.1 billion” of net worth at the time of his death, which was comprised entirely of the value of his SenseTime shares.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at AI Surge is a dedicated team of experts led by Paul Robins, boasting a combined experience of over 7 years in Computer Science, AI, emerging technologies, and online publishing. Our commitment is to bring you authoritative insights into the forefront of artificial intelligence.


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