Anyone who knows China understands the importance of face, and a Beijing startup is extending that social metaphor to the digital world with a whopping US$100 million investment.

Beijing-based face recognition technology firm Face++ has raised at least US$100 million from Foxconn Technology Group, CCB International Holdings Ltd. and existing investors.

The round follows a disclosure last month by Foxconn on its US$20 million investment in the company, and a US$25 million series B+ round Face++ completed in May 2016.

Face++ says it will use the proceeds to improve its facial recognition technology, and expand applications in the financial industry, security sector, smart city services and robotics sectors.

Face++, operating under Megvii Inc., provides face-scanning systems and identity recognition solutions to Ant Financial, China's public security bureau, Vanke, Lenovo, Didi Chuxing and other companies.

In March 2015, Alibaba's chairman Jack Ma showcased Ant Financial's "Smile to Pay" function, powered by Face++, in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In 2014, it completed series B funding worth US$22 million from Qiming Venture Partners and Sinovation Ventures.


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