On November 24, Microsoft China and XiaoIce announced a strategic partnership, jointly launching 2B AI and cloud computing solutions in three areas: finance, automotive and content production. The company has also completed a pre-A round of financing, with investors from Northern Light Venture Capital and NetEase.
In July this year, Microsoft China announced to divest XiaoIce business into an independent company, with Harry Shum appointed as the Chairman of the board, Di Li as CEO of the new venture, and Zhan Chen as General Manager for its Japan subsidiary. Microsoft maintains an investment interest in the company and will license all XiaoIce technologies to the new company. The aim is to enable the XiaoIce team to accelerate the pace of local innovation and commercialization of XiaoIce technologies, accelerate the growth of the XiaoIce ecosystem, and provide much-requested customized services for XiaoIce customers and partners.
Since the announcement of its separation from Microsoft in July, XiaoIce has continued to grow and its services now cover 660 million online users, 450 million third-party smart devices and 9 billion content viewers. Since its set up in 2013, XiaoICE comprehensive AI framework covers human-computer interaction, speech and dialogue engine, sensory interactions, third-party content triggering and first-hand content generation. (Source)
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