(Yicai Global) April 26 -- Greenland Holdings Corp., China's fourth-biggest real estate contractor by property sales, has invested CNY300 million (USD47 million) in DeepBlue Technology Co. the artificial intelligence (AI) retail tech firm backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma.
The pair will set up two new units for the development of robots and AI furnishings, the Shanghai-based property firm said. DeepBlue Architectural Technology Ltd. will explore Internet of Things and AI applications for buildings and furniture, while Greenland DeepBlue Robot Technology Ltd. will make automation solutions for logistics, healthcare, and education.
DeepBlue Technology, backed by Jack Ma’s private equity fund Yunfeng Capital, offers its AI services for unmanned Quixmart store, which allow customers to enter using facial recognition. The company offers its services to retailers for free, but under one condition that it has access to the data collected, which is then used for making improvements.
Greenland's presence in the real estate, infrastructure, finance, consumer goods, health, and high-tech sectors presents various application scenarios for AI, the group said, giving examples of hotels and offices as potential targets for smart digital assistance. The real estate giant will become the firm's second-largest shareholder with a 13 percent stake through the investment.
The realty heavyweight has hit the headlines for its GBP800 million plan to build a landmark skyscraper in London, for completion by 2020, as well as its large-scale development projects in New York and Los Angeles, the latter of which it has tried to exit due to sluggish sales.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg