Ctrip has invested in Yunji Technology, a Beijing-based
company that makes robots for a variety of industries, including hotels. Terms
of the deal were not disclosed.
In an email, Ctrip says the two companies will work together
to “promote smart service applications in the hospitality industry” and “make
travel smarter and happier for its users.”
Yunji’s robots are already being used in more than 500
hotels in China to escort guests to their rooms, deliver room service and provide
concierge-type assistance. The robots are also in operation in hotels in Japan,
South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and North America.
Ctrip says the collaboration is part of its artificial intelligence
strategy, which kicked off in March 2017 with the launch of its “Easy Stay”
smart hotel solution.
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“Easy Stay” enables bookings through Ctrip and other
platforms to provide automated identify verification to expedite check-in and issue
room keys through a self-service kiosk.
Ctrip says it has about 8,000 engineers working to apply the
latest technologies for its customers as part of its investment in “ABC” - artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing.