Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, Chairman of the Board of Alibaba Group, Softbank's president Masayoshi Son, and Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, pose for photo with a humanoid robot "Pepper" during the Softbank's press conference in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan, June 18, 2015.(Xinhua/Stringer)
HANGZHOU -- E-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group will invest in and become shareholders of SBRH, a robotics company under Japan's Softbank.
According to an agreement reached by the three parties on Thursday, Alibaba and Foxconn will each invest 14.5 billion Japanese yen (117.45 million U. S. dollars) in and hold a 20 percent stake in SBRH. The other 60 percent of shares will be held by Softbank.
According to Alibaba, the three companies agreed to jointly promote the Pepper robot in the global market. Pepper is a robot equipped with a microphone, camera, and 3D sensor on its head, which can help it identify and respond to people's facial expressions, voices and emotions.
The first batch of 1,000 Pepper robots will enter Japanese market on June 20.
Alibaba's founder Jack Ma said the robotics industry will help fuel scientific breakthroughs in areas such as medical treatment, public service, and intelligent homes.
Alibaba said it will also cooperate with SBRH to research robotics application and user experience.