Attendees visit the Qualcomm booth during CES 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc on Wednesday said it has invested in nine Chinese startups, including Beijing-based image recognition startup SenseTime and Chinese bike-sharing titan Mobike Technology Co Ltd, as it attempts to create new momentum in key markets.
The move is also part of the company's 0 million strategic investment plan announced in 2014 for China's technology market and came as it further expands into artificial intelligence and the internet of things business.
Quinn Li, Qualcomm's vice-president and global head of Qualcomm Ventures, said by providing financial and technical support for the nine companies, Qualcomm aims to help them make further breakthroughs in the fields of AI and IoT.
"Qualcomm is committed to be a supporter of technological innovation and aims to foster better life for the public. In the future, Qualcomm Ventures will continue to support tech startups to innovate in cutting-edge technologies and boost the related industries," Li added.
Other startups being backed by Qualcomm include wireless technology provider CreatComm Technology, AI startup Kneron Inc, unmanned convenience store operator Zero Element, virtual reality and augmented reality film and television content provider Magic AI and leading electronic building blocks manufacturer and learning tools provider Microduino. Beijing Acsm Agriculture Consultant and Smart Management Technology Service Co Ltd and Alo7, which offers immersive English learning environment for children, also received additional investment from Qualcomm. The company did not disclose the size of the investment.
James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said: "As a deep localized company, Qualcomm basically focuses on investment in technologies and products related to its own industry chain products, which will help it better develop its technologies and products in those areas."
Jia Mo, an analyst at market research company Canalys, said the new move marks Qualcomm's goal to steadily diversify its business to earn more profit, as most of its current profit comes from mobile chip services and fees charged for patents that cover the fundamentals of all modern phone systems.
"Qualcomm expects to benefit from the invested startups in the future and the investment will also help it have a better preparation for the future fierce competition in those key fields," Jia added.