SenseTime’s Stock Takes a Dive The AI Dragon Breathes Fire, But the Unexpected Loss of Its Co-Founder Casts a Dark Shadow

SenseTime, China's 'AI Dragon,' Plummets Following Co-Founder's Unexpected Death at U.S.-Sanctioned Firm


Oh, SenseTime, SenseTime, what a rollercoaster ride you’ve had! Just when we thought things couldn’t get any more dramatic, the Chinese AI firm takes another plunge. Did they accidentally step on a banana peel? No, my friends, it’s a much bigger banana peel this time.

You see, SenseTime just suffered a massive drop in Hong Kong, sliding as much as 18% before crawling back up to a still-painful 11% loss. What could have caused such a tumble, you ask? Well, it turns out that their co-founder and major shareholder, Tang Xiao’ou, passed away after an illness. Talk about a plot twist!

Tang, a genius in China’s AI sector, was hailed as a pioneer in facial and image recognition. He helped build SenseTime into one of the country’s leading firms in this cutting-edge technology. But wait, there’s more! Tang also had a 21% stake in the company, making him quite the wealthy individual, with a net worth of $1.1 billion. Not too shabby for a guy who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a professor in Hong Kong.

So, why did SenseTime’s stock take such a nosedive? Well, it seems their growth has hit a roadblock. The US government put them on the naughty list back in 2019, accusing them of human rights violations in Xinjiang. That’s like telling a kid they can’t have their favorite toy anymore. Plus, recent restrictions on the sale of advanced AI chips to Chinese firms haven’t helped either. It’s like they got kicked while they were down, wearing roller skates!

But that’s not all, folks! Just when SenseTime thought they couldn’t catch a break, short-seller Grizzly Research comes out swinging, accusing the company of inflating revenues. Ouch! SenseTime denied the allegations, but the damage had already been done. The stock was already trading at less than a third of its listing price before this latest fiasco.

Now, with Tang’s sudden departure, the company’s future is uncertain. Who will take the reins? Will there be a power struggle among the remaining co-founders and directors? It’s like watching a thrilling soap opera, except it’s about a tech company. Willer Chen, a senior analyst at Forsyth Barr Asia, said it best: “The voting power of other co-founders and directors may change accordingly. So for sure that could affect the business.”

But amidst all this chaos, SenseTime is pushing forward. They’re shifting their focus from facial recognition to generative AI and even considering raising funds for their autonomous driving and healthcare units. These guys don’t know the meaning of giving up!

In their statement, SenseTime didn’t reveal the specific illness that claimed Tang’s life, but they did pay tribute to his contributions. Tang, a man of academia, earned his PhD from MIT. He studied underwater robotics and computer vision, which is some serious brainpower right there! Shortly after, he co-founded SenseTime with Xu Li, who was a research scientist at Lenovo Group at the time. Talk about a dynamic duo!

So, what will become of SenseTime? Will they rise from the ashes like a phoenix? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let’s remember Tang’s legacy and the impact he had on the world of artificial intelligence. The directors and employees of SenseTime are determined to carry on his mission and make him proud. After all, as SenseTime aptly puts it, they will “never forget the company’s original aspiration and forge ahead.”

What a whirlwind, my friends! But don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated on all the thrilling twists and turns of this AI drama. Stay tuned!