Coocaa (酷开), the Smart TV Unit of Shenzhen-based consumer electronics manufacturer Skyworth, has inked a deal with Baidu which will invest RMB 1.1 billion into the company, The Paper reports.

This isn’t the first tech giant that has invested in Coocaa. In July 2017, Tencent invested RMB 300 million into Coocaa in exchange for a 7.7% stake. Baidu’s video streaming service iQiyi also invested 150 million in September the same year. Baidu is now the second largest shareholder in Coocaa after Skyworth RGB Electronics which still owns a 64.32% stake. Coocaa is now valued at RMB 9.18 billion. Its biggest competitor is Leshi’s (former LeEco) smart TV unit.

On the same day, Baidu also announced a partnership with Skyworth. Skyworth’s Coocaa system will integrate Baidu’s DuerOS operating system to bring more intelligent functions and content to the smart TVs. DuerOs will help enable special functions such as face recognition and will enable tracking users’ viewing habits to recommend content. The two companies will also work to launch an entry-level intelligent speaker which will serve as a control terminal for smart home functions.

During the deal announcement, Baidu’s CEO Robin Li said that TV screens will have a very large space for innovation in the future. Recently, Baidu’s DuerOS has made several notable deals in the smart home area with Haier, Midea, TCL and Xgimi.

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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