On the afternoon of December 27th, iFLYTEK and the Economic and Trade Bureau of Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Zone signed an “Investment Cooperation Agreement” in Hefei to invest in the construction of an artificial intelligence research and development production base (phase one) project. The project has a total investment of about 2 billion yuan to build the main business base of the HKUST Headquarters, including education business, consumer business, smart city business, core research and development platform, artificial intelligence open platform, etc. The land area is about 300 acres and the building area is about 250,000 square meters, of which the investment in fixed assets is not less than 1 billion yuan.
In the announcement, HKUST Xunfei stated that the investment and construction of the project is based on the overall strategic layout, in order to meet the needs of rapid business development and continuous expansion of business scale, and to ensure the implementation of long-term planning and development strategies. At present, this foreign investment matter has been deliberated and approved at the 21st meeting of the fifth board of directors on December 26, 2021, and there is no need to submit it to the general meeting of shareholders for deliberation.
It is reported that currently, a quarter of the employees in the company’s Hefei headquarters are scattered outside the iFlytek Park due to lack of space, which brings unnecessary burdens to work coordination, communication, and management, and this proportion is still expanding with the development of the company. As the company continues to make technological breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence, and continues to open up brand new market space for the company in key tracks such as education, medical care, smart cities, and consumers, iFLYTEK has an urgent need for industrial development space.
Public information shows that the headquarters of HKUST’s Hefei has moved to its current office since January 2011. In the past ten years, iFlytek has continued to promote breakthroughs in intelligent voice and artificial intelligence technology and its application. The company’s business has maintained a rapid development trend, and its business scale and operating efficiency have increased simultaneously. iFLYTEK has increased its operating income from 400 million yuan in 2010 and 1,166 employees. By 2020, the operating income will be 13 billion yuan and 11,006 employees. With the development of business in 2021, the number of employees will continue to grow.
However, it is worth mentioning that the announcement also pointed out that this time the investment amount is relatively large, the construction period is relatively long, and there are construction-related risks. Risks caused by force majeure events, policy changes and other factors in the implementation process may occur due to factors such as the construction progress, scale, and benefits of the project.