China: Baidu Ventures gets Legend Star’s Liu Wei as CEO

Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc’s early stage investment arm Baidu Ventures has appointed Liu Wei, a former partner at Legend Star as the CEO of company’s venture firm that focuses on artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

In his new role, Liu Wei will oversee operations of the investment unit, according to a report from China Money Network on Monday.

The Beijing-based company created the venture capital unit in September last year and also announced a $200 million sum to invest in artificial intelligence projects. It was chaired by Robin Li Yanhong, the founder and chief executive who is now serving as chairman of the board and chairman of the investment committee of Baidu Capital.

Earlier this month, Baidu also appointed Qi Lu as COO. Qi Lu was executive vice president at Microsoft and headed its unit in charge of Office, Bing and Skype.

Meanwhile, Liu Wei joined Legend Star, the venture arm of Legend Holdings in 2011, where he focused on investing in the technology and artificial intelligence sectors.

He has invested in over 60 artificial intelligence start-ups and projects in the U.S. and China, including face recognition firm Face++, Chinese voice recognition company AIspeech, drone data and services provider Airmap, and Chinese smart home company Dding.

Recently, Baidu’s investment arm Baidu Capital hired Zhang Jingling as the Chief Financial Officer of Baidu Capital and its food delivery unit Baidu Waimai. Zhang was earlier with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi where she served as the Vice President of the company and looked after finance and investments.

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