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I wrote a while ago that no matter what happens elsewhere in the tech world, Silicon Valley will remain dominant—if persistently obnoxious in the process.
I still believe that. Still, dominant doesn’t mean massive successes can’t happen elsewhere. Just look at the North Carolina videogame company Epic Games, maker of super hit Fortnite and also a successful plodder for years before becoming a red-hot sensation. The company revealed last week it has raised $1.25 billion from investors KKR, Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Partners and others. They’re all eager to take advantage of the popularity of the addictive Fortnite, which for their sake better not turn out to be a fad.
Fortnite is so successful it singlehandedly is lifting the games business of Microsoft, another non-Silicon Valley success story. The game is also a feather in the cap of Chinese gaming goliath Tencent, which bought a 40% stake in Epic several years ago. Tencent has been hoping to bring the “battle royale” game to China.
Speaking of China, check out Eamon Barrett’s interesting piece about how facial recognition technology, enhanced by artificial intelligence, is being applied for surveillance purposes there. He writes that “the government is both benefactor to and beneficiary of” the companies pursuing facial-recognition applications. It’s a different world.
It’s so different, in fact, that Fortune returns to China next month for the Fortune Global Tech Forum, to be held in the Pearl River Delta megacity of Guangzhou, November 29-30. My colleagues and I will host the two-day event that will focus on A.I. and other tech topics, including the ramifications of trade tensions between China and the U.S. Some of the participants will include Sequoia Capital’s Neil Shen; Hillhouse Capital head Zhang Lei, Dang Wenshuan, the chief technology officer of Huawei; China-focused retail analyst Deborah Weinswig; the chairman of Toyota Motor’s business in China, Kazuhiro Kobayashi; Cindy Mi, CEO of education upstart VIPKid; travel site Ctrip CEO Jane Sun; A.I. expert Richard Socher, chief scientist of Salesforce; Kim-Thu Posnett, global head of Internet investment banking for Goldman Sachs; and insurance giant Ping An’s chief technology officer, Jessica Tan.
The Guangzhou event is by invitation only, and there are a few remaining slots. Inquire here for an invitation or shoot me a note directly if you’d like to attend.