Chinese tech giant Baidu in collaboration with Chinese automaker Geely, plans to develop an electric vehicles company.
Geely will take part in the manufacturing of the vehicles while Baidu will be responsible for the software of the vehicles. In this partnership, Geely will take on as minority shareholder.
Baidu has been looking to expand the business to other fields, for instance cloud computing and autonomous vehicles software.
Driverless software like Apollo has been tested by the company in public robotaxi trials in Beijing.
Baidu also possesses its own map application and voice assistant technology named DuerOS, which will be installed inside the vehicle.
Advancement of China’s electric car market is boosted by the government’s support by way of contributing subsidies and charging infrastructure.
According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, demand for pure electric vehicles from January through November rose 4.4% from a year ago, versus a fall of 7.6% in overall passenger car sales during the same time.
In this increasingly competitive market, Baidu will compete with the likes of electric vehicle firms such as Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng Motors.
Meanwhile, Alibaba Group is an investor in Zhiji, an electric vehicle business established by Chinese state-own carmaker SAIC Motor.