BEIJING, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 16, Skyworth Group and Baidu, Inc. established strategic cooperation, whereby Baidu will invest 1.01 billion yuan (approx. US$159.7 million) in Shenzhen Coocaa Network Technology Company Limited (COOCAA), subsidiary of Skyworth Group, becoming the second largest shareholder of COOCAA as a result of the transaction. The two parties plan to cooperate in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), to jointly provide consumers with entry-level smart-home products and services.
Baidu founder, chairman and CEO Robin Li, senior vice president Liu Hui and Duer Business Unit general manager Jing Kun, Skyworth Group founder Huang Hongsheng and board chairman Lai Weide as well as COOCAA chairman Lin Jin and CEO Wang Zhiguo attended the signing ceremony.
Skyworth Digital Holdings (00751.HK) announced on March 16 that Baidu's wholly-owned subsidiary Dagze Bairuixiang Venture Investment Management Co. plans to invest 1.01 billion yuan (approx. US$159.7 million) in COOCAA, which will be 11 percent of the stake in COOCAA becoming the second largest shareholder after Skyworth who is the biggest. According to available data, COOCAA received a strategic investment from Baidu's iQiyi in September 2016, followed by a similar investment from Tencent in June 2017. Upon completion of the new round of investment from Baidu, COOCAA's market valuation will be near 10 billion yuan (approx. US$1.6 billion). Currently, COOCAA has more than 28 million active users, with daily active users exceeding 12 million. COOCAA is among the top players in its industry, in terms of both number of users and market valuation.
In terms of product, Skyworth plans to launch the AI TV series, including the Q5, Q6 and Q7, which are equipped with both firm's proprietary operating system CoocaaOS and Baidu's conversational AI system DuerOS, while previous smart TV models that are equipped with the COOCAA system will be gradually upgraded to the dual set up later this year. The two companies also plan to launch entry-level smart-home products, and integrate them into the control terminal for their smart home solutions. In terms of technology, DuerOS will be fully integrated with COOCAA's system, embedding Baidu's leading-edge technical capabilities such as face and image recognition into COOCAA's system. In addition, Baidu and Skyworth plan to jointly research and develop more forward-looking technological solutions on smart home field.
COOCAA is a technology platform that is focused on capitalizing on the services and applications which can be delivered via large-screen smart TV. After years of growth, the platform has more than 28 million private terminals, becoming the largest smart TV OTT service provider in China.