iFlytek, the Chinese voice recognition software company, has secured $407 million in government funding.
The finances were obtained through private placement that gained investments through a number of provincial government funds, including Artificial Intelligence Venture Capital, Anhui Smart Voice, Anhui Railway Development Fund and a state-backed industry fund for state-owned companies, that are controlled by the government.
iFlytek is China’s leading developer of advanced voice recognition, natural language processing, and speech evaluation technology. The company was chosen by the government to head the countries voice intelligence development in 2017 and created an “open innovation platform”.
The US$407 million will be allocated between the development of the AI open platform for smart speech which is considered the next generation of cognitive technology and the creation of service robots, according to stock exchange fillings.
In May, 2019 President Trump signed an executive order barring foreign companies posing a potential national security threat from purchasing US components or software without US government approval. Trump’s stance has reportedly softened since meeting with industry leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan in June. However, it is thought that the executive order could still pose difficulties for companies such as iFlytek.
iFlytek has recently been included in the 2019 Forbes list of China’s “50 Most Innovative Companies.”