Alibaba VP Yangqing Jia to Quit and Start Own AI Business

Yangqing Jia, Vice President (VP) of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, has stirred up some discussion with his departure from the company and intention to strike out on his own. He is reported to be focused on AI architecture and his new venture has reportedly already obtained intentions for its first round of financing, according to a report by Chinese media outlet QbitAI on March 21.

Jia’s planned business will be focused on providing AI infrastructure, including the application of large AI models. The company’s goal is to improve the efficiency of AI productization, including developer efficiency and system efficiency. It aims to help enterprises and individual developers deploy AI efficiently through end-to-end solutions. In addition, he is said to have joined hands with a colleague who has already participated in ONNX, PyTorch and Caffe2 projects.

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According to public information, Yangqing Jia, born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, pursued his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in automation at Tsinghua University, and then went to the University of California, Berkeley to study for a doctorate in computer science. During his Ph.D., he founded and opened up Caffe, a well-known deep learning framework in the industry, which was adopted by Microsoft, Yahoo, NVIDIA, Adobe and other companies.

On March 18, 2019, Alibaba‘s DAMO Academy announced that Jia, a former Facebook AI scientist, had officially joined Alibaba as VP of technology and led the R&D of big data computing platforms.

On March 21 of this year, Yangqing Jia sent a farewell message to Alibaba via his personal social media, saying that he would move towards the next challenge in his career. He wrote:

“When I joined Alibaba, what attracted me most was the unique contribution that cloud computing could bring to society: AI, Big data, Compute, Developer, and Ecosystems.”

“I feel honored to have lead Alibaba‘s Computing Platform Division over the past few years, build a team covering the R&D, products and solutions, and make the big data AI business a leading position in the industry. A big thank you to Alibaba for its trust and support. Through ODPS (Alibaba Cloud MaxCompute), a real-time and offline integrated big data platform, and PAI, an intelligent computing platform of Cloud Native, our technology supports open source platforms such as ModelScope and a series of applications including big models, creating value for customers.”

“Time flies, and now I plan to move towards the next challenge in my career. I wish the brothers and sisters of the team greater glory and wish Alibaba Cloud to continue to get better and better. We haven’t set up a company yet, and I’m still in the process of handing over the team. I also look forward to sharing my personal planning with you in the near future. “