Megvii is one of China's AI giants, specializing in facial recognition.
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Megvii is a Beijing-based AI company best known for its Face++ facial recognition platform, which is used by businesses, law enforcement and government agencies across China.
The company was founded in 2011 by Yin Qi while he was at Tsinghua University.
Megvii's facial recognition software is used to check-in employees at work and verify user identities in subways, airports, ride sharing apps and online banking. It's also used by police, who according to Bloomberg have used the technology to arrest over 10,000 people.
Below, Bloomberg describes some of Megvii's security and law enforcement uses:
... law enforcement and other customers can link real-time video feeds to run people’s faces through public security databases, or blacklists, to look for criminals, Megvii Corporate Finance Director Tianyu Jiang said at a tech conference last year.
Megvii's corporate clients include Huawei, Lenovo, Foxconn, Xiaomi, China Merchant Bank and Ant Financial, Alibaba's payments company.
In addition to facial recognition used in identity verification, the company is also advancing into Internet of Things-style surveillance and logistical systems for cities and supply chain management.
Megvii, like other Chinese AI companies targeted by the US government, has been accused of helping the Chinese government track and subjugate members of China's Uighur minority. While Face++ code has been found in a police app used to collect data on Uighurs, the code itself wasn't operational, according to Human Rights Watch.