Beijing-based online and on-demand food delivery platform Meituan has agreed to acquire artificial intelligence (AI) firm Light Year from its co-founder and former director Wang Huiwen.

As per the terms of the agreement, Meituan will acquire all the stakes of the AI start-up company for a total consideration of $233.7m in cash with $47m in assumed liabilities.

For this acquisition, Meituan will be paying Light Year investors, including $5m to Qimai, $28m to HongShan and $201m to other investors.

According to a Reuters report, the deal will help the food delivery company to develop its own AI like ChatGPT.

In its filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Meituan said: “Light Year is a leading AGI innovator in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which is founded by Wang Huiwen, the co-founder of Meituan.

“It is dedicated to driving the realisation and universal access of AGI in China. Light Year’s current management and technology team is equipped with high-quality experience in developing deep-learning framework.

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“Through acquiring leading AGI technology and talents from the Acquisitions, the Company has the opportunity to strengthen its competitiveness in the fast-growing AI industry and to better fulfil our mission of ‘we help people eat better, live better’.”

In May this year, Meituan launched KeeTa, its new food delivery brand in Hong Kong.

KeeTa will initially offer its services in Mong Kok and Tai Kok Tsui and aims to provide a customised, efficient and reliable delivery service.