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China’s largest AI company blacklisted by Trump saw surge in revenue from Covid-19

Bloomberg
Bloomberg8/19/2020 04:07 PM GMT+08  • 4 min read
China’s largest AI company blacklisted by Trump saw surge in revenue from Covid-19
The future of China’s largest artificial intelligence company was thrown into question last year when it was blacklisted by the Trump administration.
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The future of China’s largest artificial intelligence company was thrown into question last year when it was blacklisted by the Trump administration. Today, SenseTime is thriving with growing demand for its facial recognition software, especially as local governments in China adopt its technology to battle the coronavirus.

The Hong Kong-based startup’s revenue surged 147% to 5 billion yuan ($985.6 million) in 2019 and its customer base increased by about 500 to 1,200 clients, according to co-founder Xu Bing. Sales are on track to climb 80% this year to about 9 billion yuan and gross profit could double, according to people familiar with the matter.

“We see business demand for ways to mitigate the virus outbreak on the rise,” Xu said in a phone interview. He and SenseTime declined to comment on revenue projections in an emailed statement.

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