(Yicai Global) Oct. 16 -- iFlytek has pleaded ignorance after local authorities in China's eastern Anhui province found that an affiliate research and development center of the artificial intelligence unicorn encroached on a nature reserve for the critically endangered Chinese alligator.
The company did not realize that its affiliate Guantang Technologic Island R&D center was situated in the protected area, the Hefei-based firm said through its official WeChat account, adding that it had already shut down operations at the location.
The center was located in Anhui's Jing county development zone, set up to attract tech players to help transform the economy of the impoverished area. Hundreds of other firms had already set up shop there before iFlytek moved in. Construction of the park overlaps with the alligator reserve in Xuancheng, state-broadcaster China Central Television reported on Oct. 12.
Set up in 1979, The national reserve covers five districts and counties including Xuanzhou, Langxi, Guangde and Jing.