(Yicai Global) Feb. 7 – China's internet giant Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] has appointed Liu Wei, an investor in artificial intelligence (AI), as the chief executive officer of its venture capital firm, Baidu Venture, the company said in a statement yesterday. Liu was formerly partner of Legend Star Investment Management Co., an angel investor affiliated to Legend Holdings Corp.
Liu Wei, who graduated from the University of Cambridge, the UK, has been investing in artificial intelligence since 2011. He has invested in over 60 early-stage AI projects in China and the US, including facial recognition technology developer Face++, voice interactive technology provider AISpeech and Beijing-based online education company Knowbox.
By introducing Liu to its management team, Baidu Venture hopes to break new ground in the fields of AI, AR and VR this year.
Also joining Baidu Venture as partners are Qi Yujie and Cai Wei. Qi served as senior technical director at Baidu and was a core member of its tech team. He left the company to start his own business in 2012. Cai holds an MBA degree from the Graduate Business School of Columbia University in the US and a bachelor's degree from China's prestigious Tsinghua University. Before joining the firm, Cai served as an executive director at Goldman Sachs and a partner at TA Associates for years and boasts extensive investment experience.
Liu's appointment as Baidu Venture CEO follows former global vice president of Xiaomi Hugo Barra's move to Facebook as its head of virtual reality, signaling internet giants' positioning themselves for the alleged next big thing, AI and VR, in the industry.