NANJING, China, April 11, 2018 -- The Fortune Global 500 company Suning.com - China's largest omni-channel smart retailer, owned by Suning Holdings Group - recently participated in a Series C funding round for SenseTime, a global pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) company and deep learning platform developer. The investment also creates an in-depth partnership between both parties for the future in several fields including smart retail, fintech and robo-advisors.
AI has become one of the biggest trends to watch in the retail industry in 2018. The innovative technology is starting to play a critical role in personalizing and optimizing products, inventory, services and experience, boosting consumer satisfaction and business benefits both online and offline. As a leading retail enterprise with more than 27 years of market experience and 600 million registered customers across diversified industries, Suning has established its own retail ecosystem and so has collected massive amounts of data connected with different consumption scenarios. Based on its partnership with SenseTime, Suning aims to further embrace the industrial transformation of smart retail via the integration of AI technology applications.
Mr Sun Weimin, Vice Chairman of Suning.com said: "Smart retail is essentially the datamation of retail factors and intelligentization of retail operation, therefore it is foreseeable that AI will play an increasingly important role in the field of Smart Retail in the future. As a pioneer of the Chinese AI industry, SenseTime is dedicated to creating innovative technologies to establish the ecosystem of AI commerce. It shares a philosophy which is perfectly aligned with Suning's Smart Retail strategy. Based on the partnership between SenseTime and Suning, AI technology will be further applied into our retail ecosystem. Meanwhile, through internet-connected scenarios and retail-related big data, AI is empowered to bring a more satisfying shopping experience to consumers."
As China's largest AI unicorn focused on computer vision and deep learning technologies, SenseTime has established partnerships with more than 400 leading domestic and overseas enterprises, covering retail, manufacturing, automobile, security, fintech, mobile internet and robotics. Before the investment, Suning cooperated with SenseTime in 2017 in developing Suning's unmanned stores. This store model, which leverages facial recognition and radio frequency identification for cashier-less shopping as well as consumer big data analysis, has demonstrated the advantages of Suning's smart retail strategy, driven by AI and O2O technology.
In addition to its unmanned stores, Suning also made a number of retail technology achievements including the Biu Robots, "Smart Sue" Shopping Assistant, SuningAnywhere AR Shopping and AGV Warehousing. In the future, Suning will continuously strengthen its technology power by building up strong partnerships through strategic investment and tech cooperation with global leading researchers and developers. Furthermore, with six R&D centres in Nanjing, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Silicon Valley, Suning has also established its own technology group to create more cutting-edge smart retail products and services for industries and consumers.