Cheetah Mobile (猎豹移动), a supplier of internet tools and apps, yesterday announced that it had purchased a 35.17% stake in Orion Star (猎户星空), a subsidiary focusing on commercial robot, to become its controlling shareholder.
The Beijing-based company said it bought the stake for US$37.6 million, boosting its equity holdings in the robot startup to 72.91%.
Orion Star was founded in 2016 by Fu Sheng, who is also the founder, chairman and CEO of US-listed Cheetah Mobile.
Explaining the reasons behind the share sale, Fu said Cheetah Mobile will leverage the AI expertise accumulated by Orion Star over the course of its operation.
The goal is to build a business chain covering a large language model to application scenarios, he said.
Cheetah Mobile started out as a provider of web browers in the PC era, before venturing into a marketplace for mobile internet tools.
The firm looks to further embrace the advent of artificial general intelligence (AGI) by deploying its AI capabilities to upgrade physical technologies like robotics.
In the words of Fu, the ultimate target is to achieve a leapfrog-style shift toward AI-Native application.
Orion Star is reportedly working on its own LLM to make a suite of commercial service robots more intelligent.
Currently, Orion Star manufactures and deploys primarily service robots for voice guide, concierge and delivery, among other use cases.
It is believed that the blend of robots and generative AI will enable robots to better communicate with humans and perform tasks autonomously, fueling another multi-billion-dollar market after smartphone and electric vehicle.