Chinese AI Startup Megvii Open Sources Its Proprietary Deep Learning Framework MegEngine

Beijing based AI startup Megvii announced today that it will open source its deep learning framework MegEngine. The open sourced framework will allow global developers to create AI solutions for industrial and commercial scenarios and foster an ecosystem around Megvii’s new generation AI productivity platform, Brain++.

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Initially developed in 2014 and now in its eighth edition, MegEngine is one of the three primary components of Brain++ architecture that Megvii built to train computer vision algorithms at scale. The other two proprietary components of Brain++ include MegData (a data management system) and MegCompute (a computing power dispatching system).

MegEngine has been deployed across Megvii’s three business units (personal IoT, city IoT, and supply chain IoT) and is used by its 1,400+ strong R&D team in its day-to-day algorithm and product development. According to Megvii, MegEngine is especially effective for training large volumes of images and videos and completing complex tasks such as image classification, object detection, object/scene segmentation and video analytics.

MegEngine will be released under the terms of Apache License 2.0, a permissive free software license written by the Apache Software Foundation. Users will be able to distribute, modify, and distribute modified versions of the software without concern for royalties. The MegEngine code will be available on two code repository websites, GitHub and OpenI.

“China has been participating in open source since the Android system was introduced in 2011, and Chinese developers today make up an increasingly large proportion of the global open source developer community,” said Tang Wenbin, Co-founder and CTO of Megvii, “We think that open sourcing MegEngine is consistent with this trend. Megvii wants to lead the way in China and create good will among developers here and abroad.”

Founded in Beijing in 2011 by three Tsinghua University graduates, Megvii is a rising image recognition and deep learning software firm. Dedicated to becoming the first publicly listed Chinese AI company, Megvii plans to refile for a Hong Kong IPO after its first application lapsed in February 2020, according to Reuters. Megvii was blacklisted in the US along with several other Chinese AI companies over alleged human rights violations.