The founder of Baidu-acquired AI assistant startup Raven Tech’s (渡鴉) Lu Cheng has resigned for personal reasons after heading Baidu’s smart hardware unit for a little over a year, our Chinese sister site is reporting (in Chinese).

After acquiring Raven Tech in February 2017, Baidu appointed Lu as the general manager of the Intelligent Hardware Unit, which he reported directly to Lu Qi, then COO of Baidu. The company later renamed the unit as “Raven Studio” in March.

Acquiring Raven Tech was thought to be Baidu’s further push into AI, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. Few months after launching Raven H—Baidu’s Lego-like smart speaker that runs on the DuerOS voice AI system—in November, poor sales and internal disagreements over the positioning of the product marginalized the Raven Tech team. Baidu ended up making less than 10,000 units of the Raven H speaker, and rumors were rife that Lu Cheng was considering leaving Baidu. The Raven Tech team went from building a “definitive product” for Baidu to exploring “the direction of cutting-edge products.”

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.