By Steven Millward for Tech in Asia
Tencent, China’s US$300 billion tech giant and maker of the popular messaging app WeChat, today confirmed it has opened a lab in Seattle devoted to AI tech. The social media and gaming company also confirmed it has poached Dong Yu, a former principal researcher at Microsoft Research, to head its AI lab.
He previously worked for 19 years in various roles at Microsoft.
Dong, a voice recognition and deep learning technology expert, indicates on his LinkedIn that he took up the new post in March.
The Seattle facility complements Tencent’s first AI lab in its hometown, Shenzhen, which opened last year.
Tencent’s Seattle move comes amidst a wave of Chinese tech companies turning to US labs and expertise to boost their AI know-how, from search engine Baidu to ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.