G3 Global’s US$1 bil AI park MoU lapses

KUALA LUMPUR (April 25): After much hype about setting up the first artificial intelligence (AI) park in Malaysia, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Main Market-listed technology firm G3 Global Bhd and two Chinese companies has lapsed on Monday (April 25).

In a statement Monday, G3 Global insisted that it remains committed to the vision of the MoU with SenseTime Group Ltd and China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) for the development of an AI park.

G3 Global said the MoU was signed on April 26, 2019 and highlighted that the landscape for the development of the originally anticipated AI park has changed and that the project may have to take on a new form.

“G3, as well as SenseTime and CHEC remain keen to work together on large-scale AI & IT projects that are sustainable over the longer term.

“We have been exploring and discussing concepts that leverage each other’s strengths and expertise, whilst considering Malaysia’s AI roadmap and strategic position at the same time,” according to G3 Global Managing Director, Dirk Quinten.

The group added that it will make the announcement necessary to Bursa Malaysia when there are further developments on the discussions.

To recap, G3 Global, SenseTime and CHEC had three years ago announced that the three parties will invest around US$1 billion in the AI ​​park project.

Notably, the announcement was made when then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was visiting China, had gone to SenseTime’s office in Beijing, where he gained first-hand experience of the company’s latest AI technologies.

The park was expected to serve as a platform for the development of AI solutions in the areas of computer vision, speech recognition, natural language and humanoid/robot.

It was also supposed to become a place for talents to be trained in AI and machine learning.

Investors previously reacted positively when G3 Global signed the MoU on April 26, 2019, causing its share price to surge from 41 sen to its historical high of 91 sen on Oct 25, 2019.

But as the MoU expired three years later on Monday, the counter is currently trading at merely 7.5 sen, giving it a market capitalization of RM162.34 million.

Formerly known as GA Blue International Bhd and Yen Global, G3 Global has not been able to turn around after it slipped into the red in 2014.

Notably, Green Packet Bhd had emerged as a substantial shareholder of G3 Global in August 2016. It ceased to be its substantial shareholder in December last year.

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