Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 12:00 | By Chen Yaping
Gionee, a Shenzhen-based mobile phone manufacturer, has announced an endorsement deal with Ke Jie, the 18-year-old Go player with three world titles.
This news came after Ke claimed "AlphaGo can't beat me", in response to South Korean grandmaster Lee See-dol’s match against AlphaGo, the computer system Google engineers trained to master the ancient game of Go.
Under the newly-signed deal, the smartphone brand is planning to support Ke in his attempt to beat the artificial intelligence program. This deal will also see the Go player becoming Gionee’s branding ambassador. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed up to now.
Ke, currently world No. 1 in the Go Ratings, defeated Qiu Jun, a ninth dan, to win the 2nd Bailing Cup final, becoming the new world champion on 14th January 2015 when he was just at the level of fourth dan.
This is not the first time that Gionee have involved themselves in this sport. Early in 2007, the Chinese brand was appointed the major sponsor of Chinese Go League Division A.
Proofread by John Devlin.