Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings said on Tuesday it will open an artificial intelligence (AI) research facility in Seattle in the United States, to be led by former Microsoft scientist Yu Dong.
Yu, who has been appointed as deputy head of Tencent's AI Lab division, will run the new lab as well as spearhead research in speech recognition and natural language understanding, the company said.
Tencent, which owns the popular WeChat messaging app, is Asia's most valuable company with a market capitalization of nearly $300 billion.
Shenzhen-headquartered Tencent is one of a number of Chinese technology juggernauts that are stepping up efforts in AI research. Tencent's WeChat has more than 889 million monthly active users.
Yu is looking to build a team of around 20 for the Seattle lab, according to Tencent.
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