Chinese search giant Baidu to make electric cars

Chinese language search large Baidu plans to make electrical automobiles with assist from Geely, the nation’s largest personal automaker, in line with a new report from Reuters. It’s the most recent Chinese language conglomerate to enterprise into the flourishing electrical automobile market, following buying large Alibaba and ride-hailing behemoth Didi Chuxing.

Making electrical automobiles would additionally characterize a broadening of Baidu’s ambition to department into transportation. Baidu has already spent years engaged on self-driving technology and is the main Chinese language firm within the autonomous automobile house.

Baidu will seemingly kind a brand new three way partnership with Geely for the EV effort, Reuters experiences, and can develop software program for the automobile whereas Geely focuses on the {hardware}. Particularly, Baidu and Geely are in talks to make use of the latter’s scalable electric vehicle platform that it introduced late final yr. However Baidu will personal a majority stake within the new firm and can due to this fact management its course.

The Chinese language authorities has spent years focusing its largest firms on growing inexperienced expertise in an try to beat different world powers to the punch. Beijing has insinuated {that a} fuel automobile ban was on the horizon since 2017 (earlier than ultimately putting a policy in place late last year) and introduced beneficiant subsidy coverage for clear automobiles, resulting in an unimaginable increase in electrical automobile startups.

The nation’s largest tech firms have spent that point eyeing the easiest way into the market. At first, they merely positioned bets. Alibaba funded XPeng, an electrical automobile startup that first made headlines by copying Tesla’s designs. Tencent backed Nio, one of many first (and now largest) EV startups in China. However lately they’ve made extra concrete strikes. Alibaba shaped an electrical automobile three way partnership with SAIC, which is China’s largest carmaker. Didi Chuxing is working with Chinese automotive giant BYD to make electric ride-hailing vehicles. Baidu’s partnership with Geely is the most recent instance of this concentrated effort.

Geely has large ambitions itself. The corporate already owns Volvo and has a partnership with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler. But it surely additionally has its hand in all the pieces from passenger drones, to a high-speed rail, to a newly proposed satellite network.

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