Chinas OpenAI challenger Zhipu AI gets Meituan funding | TechCrunch

News Summary

  • The change in ownership came after Light Years Beyond’s founder, Wang Huiwen, who’s also the billionaire co-founder of Meituan, announced his resignation from all corporate roles at the food delivery giant due to health reasons.These investments are expected to give Meituan’s AI capabilities a big talent boost.
  • Just three weeks ago, the Chinese internet giant announced it would be acquiring Light Years Beyond, another prominent LLM player in China, for a hefty $234 million, despite the startup’s inception only four months prior.
  • In turn, the AI firms stand to gain by potentially tapping Meituan’s vast reach of 450 million users ordering food, buying groceries or booking hotels with the on-demand platform.Meituan buys founder’s months-old ‘OpenAI for China’ for $234M
  • The startup hasn’t disclosed its exact funding to date, only saying it raised “hundreds of million yuan” ($1 = 7.23 yuan) from a Series B round last September.
  • Its user-facing chatbot app ChatGLM is currently in a close beta phase, first targeted at academic and industry players.Meituan’s investment came at a curious time.
  • It also previously open sourced a more robust, general-purpose variant, the GLM-130B trained on 130 billion parameters.
Zhipu AI, one of Chinas most promising challengers to OpenAI, has received funding from the countrys food delivery giant Meituan, which has a market cap of around $100 billion at the time of writin [+2112 chars]