Profile

Born: 1988 - China

Yin Qi is the CEO and founder of Megvii, a company that develops facial recognition technology.

Early days

Yin Qi grew up on the banks of the Yangtze River within a middle-class family in the city of Wuhu in Anhui Province. His father, a teacher, and his mother, a civil servant, allowed him to do whatever he wanted as long as he was among the top ten of his class.

He entered Tsinghua University and enrolled in the famous class of Andrew Chih-Chih Yao, where he met Tang Wenbin and Yang Mu, with whom he founded Megvii. Tang was the best student and trained the Chinese team for the information engineering Olympics, as well as being president of the science and technology association. Yang is an Olympic medalist and the most introverted of the three.

Upon graduating from Tsinghua, Yin Qi got a full scholarship to Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree in computer vision.

Education

  • 2011, Columbia University, Master of Computing
  • 2010, Tsinghua University, Bachelor of Computer Science

Works for

Career

In 2011, Yin Qi founded Megvii with his colleagues from Tsinghua University, intending to make the world a better place. The company is located in the Zhongguancun tech-hub in Beijing. All three advanced facial recognition algorithms that they began to offer under the brand name Face ++.

Currently, the technology developed by Yin Qi and his colleagues is widely used in China to unlock cell phones, make online payments, and verify identity in banks, train stations, and airports.

Yin Qi thinks that technology has the power to improve the world. As more people can take advantage of it, they will awaken their unlimited potential.

Megvii has reached the unicorn's status by being valued at 4 billion dollars. Some of the company's investors are the Bank of China Group Investment, Foxconn Technology, and Alibaba Group. Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Vivo are some of Megvii's customers. Since 2016, the Ministry of Public Security has arrested more than five thousand fugitives thanks to Megvii's technology.

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Other facts

In 2017, the MIT Technology Review considered Megvii's technology as one of the 10 Breakthrough Technologies of the year. In 2018, the same magazine named Yin Qi as one of the Innovators under 35.

Megvii has also been a center of controversy over privacy and human rights issues since Human Rights Watch published a report that signaled Megvii as a provider of the technology used by Xinjiang police for a surveillance app, accused of criminalizing the Muslim minority from the western region of China. Yin Qi says the company asks its customers to use the technology only for legal purposes and that, as a private company, the development of this is for commercial, not political purposes.