Moonshot AI Raises Over $1 Billion in Funding Led by Alibaba and HongShan


  • Moonshot AI, a Chinese AI startup, secured more than $1 billion in a funding round led by Alibaba and HongShan Venture Capital.
  • The company’s valuation reaches around $2.5 billion following the investment.
  • Moonshot AI’s smart chatbot, Kimi Chat, utilizes its proprietary Moonshot large language model (LLM), which is capable of processing up to 200,000 Chinese characters.
  • Alibaba, HongShan, and Moonshot AI have not yet responded to inquiries about the funding.
  • This funding round marks the largest investment for a Chinese AI startup since the release of ChatGPT in 2022.
  • China leads global investments in generative AI startups, with Moonshot AI being one of the prominent players in the market.
  • Founder Yang Zhilin emphasizes the importance of text processing capacity for advancing AI models.
  • Despite criticism about resource allocation, Moonshot AI remains focused on enhancing its technology and navigating market challenges.

Main AI News:

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startup Moonshot AI has secured over US$1 billion in a recent funding round led by Alibaba Group Holding and HongShan Venture Capital, signaling continued investor enthusiasm for innovative firms akin to the likes of OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. Reports from local media outlets 36Kr and LatePost indicate that the Beijing-based company, known as Yuezhi Anmian in Chinese, now boasts a valuation of approximately US$2.5 billion following this latest investment infusion.

Moonshot AI’s journey in the funding landscape has been closely followed since its seed round last June, which saw participation from HongShan and angel investor ZhenFund. The company gained attention in October with the launch of its smart chatbot Kimi Chat, leveraging its in-house developed Moonshot large language model (LLM) capable of processing extensive contextual data, encompassing up to 200,000 Chinese characters during interactions with users.

The response from Alibaba, HongShan, and Moonshot AI regarding inquiries about the funding round remains pending as of Tuesday.

This financing achievement by Moonshot AI represents the most significant capital injection garnered by a Chinese AI startup after the release of ChatGPT in November 2022. It reaffirms the sustained interest in generative AI startups within mainland China, which led global investments into such ventures during the initial half of 2023.

According to a report by AI-focused research firm Zhidongxi, China boasted the highest number of generative AI startups receiving funding during that period, with 22 out of 51 worldwide, accumulating approximately US$13.8 billion in investments.

Founded in April 2023 by Yang Zhilin, a computer science graduate from Tsinghua University in Beijing and later a doctoral alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University in the US, Moonshot AI has been positioning itself at the forefront of advancing AI capabilities. Yang emphasized the importance of text processing capacity for the future evolution of AI models during an industry event last November.

While Moonshot AI’s LLM boasts over 100 billion parameters, slightly fewer than ChatGPT’s 175 billion, the company remains dedicated to enhancing its technology. This commitment is reflective of the broader trend within the industry, exemplified by Baichuan’s development of Baichuan2-192k LLM, which is capable of handling 350,000 Chinese characters in a context window.

However, the proliferation of domestic LLMs has not been without criticism. Baidu’s founder and CEO, Robin Li Yanhong, has voiced concerns over the excessive allocation of resources towards LLM development, emphasizing the need for more AI-native applications grounded in these models.

Furthermore, Moonshot AI may encounter brand confusion due to the existence of a similarly named startup based in New York City, which offers an AI platform geared towards enhancing e-commerce operations. As Moonshot AI continues its trajectory of growth and innovation, navigating such challenges will likely be integral to its long-term success.


The substantial investment secured by Moonshot AI underscores the growing confidence in China’s AI sector, particularly in the realm of generative AI startups. With leading players like Alibaba and HongShan backing Moonshot AI, the market is poised for further innovation and competition, albeit amidst concerns surrounding resource allocation and brand differentiation within the industry.