Alibaba buys Israeli AR startup amid China investment scrutiny

Alibaba buys Israeli AR startup amid China investment scrutiny

Bloomberg – March 24, 2019 8:46 PM • 3 minute read

For More Info: www.freemalaysiatoday.com

TEL AVIV: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired Israeli startup Infinity Augmented Reality, after investing in the company three years ago.

InfinityAR will join Alibaba’s Israel Machine Vision Laboratory, according to a release dated Thursday on the startup’s website.

Financial details were not disclosed, but Alibaba paid more than US$10 million, according to an estimate from market sources cited by Globes.

“The talented team brings unique know-how in sensor fusion, computer vision and navigation technologies,” lab head Lihi Zelnik-Manor said in the release.

The startup says it can turn AR glasses into a “powerful content augmentation platform.”

It had previously raised US$18 million from Alibaba and Japanese firm Sun in 2016.

The acquisition comes during a time of heightened scrutiny over the role of Chinese investment in Israel.

US officials have raised the prospect of a body to vet investments similar to the US Committee on Foreign Investment.