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Cutting ties with Chinese companies ‘not easy’ says G42 CEO

G42’s stake in the TikTok owner ByteDance was estimated at $100 million, according to data provider PitchBook Reuters/Mike Blake
G42’s stake in the TikTok owner ByteDance was estimated at $100 million, according to data provider PitchBook

Abu Dhabi artificial intelligence (AI) company G42’s decision to sever ties with Chinese businesses was difficult, CEO Peng Xiao said on Monday.

He was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

G42 has accepted constraints imposed on it to work with US companies, he said, citing the need for governments to safeguard the technology.

His comments come after Financial Times reported that the company sold its stakes in Chinese companies, including TikTok owner ByteDance.

42XFund, the $10 billion technology investment arm of G42, has divested from all its investments in China. 

G42’s stake in the TikTok owner was estimated at $100 million, the report said, citing data provider PitchBook.

The company, chaired by the UAE’s national security adviser, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, is developing various AI projects. 

Backed by investors, including UAE sovereign Mubadala and US private equity company Silver Lake, G42 had been working with US partners such as Microsoft and OpenAI, as well as Chinese technology companies.

In December, US AI company OpenAI held talks to raise funding for a new chip venture with G42.

42XFund participated in a $300 million funding round led by Mubadala for JD Industrials in March 2023, which is part of online retailer JD.com group.

The technology fund was established in 2022 as a partnership between G42 and the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, set up by wealth fund ADQ.  

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