Google Inc. Makes First China Investment Since 2010 Pullout

Google Inc. is making its first direct investment in a Chinese startup, an artificial-intelligence developer, since mostly quitting the country in 2010 over censorship concerns. Google is leading a round of funding for Mobvoi Inc., a company operating a Chinese-language voice-activated search engine. Google used Mobvoi instead of its own blocked service in the Moto 360 smartwatch released in China in June. The deal underscores how Google may be edging back into the world’s largest mobile market with its first strategic investment in years. In 2014, a growth equity arm of the corporation called Google Capital invested in InnoLight Technology Corp., a Suzhou-based company that makes high-speed data transmission hardware. “Mobvoi is very excited to welcome Google as an investor as both companies share a long-term view on technologies,” Li…


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