Cheetah is looking beyond apps

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 04, 2016

Trailblazer: Sheng Fu, CEO of Cheetah Mobile, speaking at the recentCheetah Connect Summit in Beijing - Photo: R DINAKARAN

Company announces plans to expand into video and robotics

For  many, the mention of Cheetah Mobile may never ring a bell. But the mention of Clean Master - the ubiquitous Android maintenence utility - is enough drive home the importance of Cheetah Mobile, the company behind it.

Apart from CleanMaster, Cheetah also has apps like Piano Tiles, CM Locker, Photo Grid and Battery Doctor that are hugely popular.

Cheetah Mobile is also one of the top three mobile game developers in the world, with its mobile game Piano Tiles 2 having reached the No. 1 ranking in more than 150 countries globally on both iOS and Android.

But it is difficult to believe that the imposing building in Beijing that houses the company is only home to a few apps. More importantly, can Cheetah afford to continue to bank just on apps?

It could be that Cheetah Mobile CEO Sheng Fu had similar concerns. In June 2015, Cheetah Mobile introduced the Cheetah Ad Platform to the global market. And at the Cheetah Connect Summit recently held in Beijing, Sheng announced plans that had nothing to do with apps - an expansion into social video delivery and also robotics.

“Our 2016 strategy is very clear,” said Cheetah Mobile CEO Sheng Fu. “We’ll use our utility products as the entry point for mobile users, then add content products to build a platform, increasing the engagement of our users. At the same time, we’ll use Cheetah Mobile’s big data analytics to create a strategic high-ground advantage to better serve both our users and advertisers.”

The social video service is called Toupai that will help “fans find their top idols”, and and also enable “online celebrities find their fans.” Backed by the PurpleCow Startup Fund, Toupai will initially focus on the Chinese market with an official launch event on May 20.

The second foray is into the field of robotics. Cheetah Robotics will invest $50 million into deep learning and artificial intelligence R&D. Sheng, who is personally investing in the venture, views the field of robotics as the ultimate evolution of the mobile tools category that Cheetah Mobile leads.

The writer was recently in Beijing at the invitation of Cheetah Mobile

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Published on May 04, 2016
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