HONG KONG —┬áKiu Hung International Holdings Limited (“Kiu Hung International” or the “Group”; stock code: 381) plans to develop robotic technology business in the hotel industry together with Shanghai Liming Intelligent Technology Limited (“Shanghai Liming”). Today, the 2014 Nobel Laureate physicist, Professor Shuji Nakamura, was invited to the conference named “First Launch Front-desk Robot in China”, hosted by Shanghai Liming and title-sponsored by the Group to share his views on the trend and potential of the intelligent hotel technology business.

With labor cost of hotel operations increasing, there is a pressing need for the development of intelligent hotel technology that is cost effective, highly efficient and can assure the high quality of hotel services. At the event, Professor Shuji Nakamura said, combination of AI, robots and human abilities will be a future trend. AI can be widely applied in Hotel Robots, with LED Li-Fi and Laser Li-Fi as infrastructure guaranteeing high performance and responsiveness of the robot. Another application could be the Li-Fi-enabled Indoor Positioning System for accessing location information in large facilities such as hotels via communication with LED or Laser lighting by the robot. And, there is the laser scanning technology Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) that can be used to spot obstacles.

As such, for years, Shanghai Liming has worked with Shanghai University and, under the guidance of well-known scientists and the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics Profession Shuji Nakamura, has developed for the hotel industry a host of customized products and services based on cutting-edge international technology from countries like the US and Japan. Currently, Shanghai Liming is in strategic cooperation with many hotel groups in mainland China including Huazhu Hotel Group Ltd, Home Inns Hotel group, Greentree Inns Hotel Group, Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Limited, Shanghai Hengshan (Group) Corp. and Shanghai Donghu (Group) Co.

Seeing attractive prospects for business in robotic technology in the hotel industry, Kiu Hung International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Liming on 13 March 2017 showing its intention to acquire equity interests in Shanghai Liming and the related due diligence check is underway. Mr. Hui Kee Fung, Chairman of Kiu Hung International, said, “We are very pleased to be the title sponsor of the event and to have Professor Nakamura sharing his views on the prospects of hotel robotic technology with us. The development of and innovation in Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize industries and, seizing the trend, Shanghai Liming has combined technology with the hotel industry in China, creating for the industry innovative intelligent products and for itself the capability to capture the enormous opportunities that the rapidly developing Artificial Intelligence and Big Data sectors present.”

Currently, the core product developed by Shanghai Liming is a front-desk robot for hotels. The company has also started R&D work on robots for delivery and security tasks and related systems. Hotel guests can talk to the intelligent robot supported by an intelligent technology platform, and show the robot their identity documents and payment means to quickly check in or out of the hotel. The platform can substantially reduce manpower requirement of a hotel as well as enable modern intelligent management of hotel operations, helping to enhance customer satisfaction and service quality, as well as reduce management costs and improve management standards. The system also takes phone calls from guests with housekeeping requests such as changing pillows. On receiving the request, the robot will convert the request content via the backend system into an order and relate the order to the relevant staff for action. The service request content and related action status are consolidated and tracked on an integrated information control platform. These hotel front desk intelligent robots are to be tested at Hanting Hotel, Home Inns and Green Tree Inns in early May and the formal launch is scheduled for autumn this year.