XJTLU graduate lands top role at Baidu

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Search engine giant Baidu has announced that Cheng Lyu, a Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University graduate, will become the general manager responsible for its smart home hardware division.

His appointment follows Baidu's acquisition of Cheng's start-up company Raven Technology, which he founded in 2014. It was developed under global seed accelerator Y Combinator, and attracted investment from ZhenFund, Matrix Partner, DCM and Y Combinator.

The company aims to "make life easier, more elegant and more efficient" through the power of technology and design. Its voice-activated, artificial intelligence-based music application Flow has millions of users.

In his new role with Baidu, Cheng will be responsible for Baidu's smart home hardware business. He will support the development of Duer, Baidu's own artificially intelligent personal assistant, to improve user experience and future 'smart' products and devices.

Cheng will report directly to Qi Lu, president and chief operating officer of Baidu, who said Cheng's appointment was an "important step" for Baidu in their ambitions to lead future AI development.

Cheng was born in 1990 in Shaanxi Province. He studied financial mathematics at XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. He launched his first start-up project at XJTLU, Timeet, a timetable-based social networking app.

He graduated in 2013 and launched Raven Tech the following year. He has been named twice in "Forbes 30 under 30" lists (2015/2016).

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