Chinese research giant Baidu to set up electric vehicle company

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The Baidu Inc. logo is displayed at the company headquarters on July 3, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Wan Xiaojun | Visual China Group via Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese internet giant Baidu has formed a strategic partnership with automaker Geely to create an autonomous electric vehicle unit, the companies confirmed on Monday.
The new unit will operate as an independent subsidiary of Baidu, the company said on Monday.

CNBC first reported the news on Friday, citing someone familiar with the matter.

Beijing-based Baidu will be the majority shareholder while Chinese automaker Geely takes a minority stake, the person told CNBC.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Geely edged up 0.15% on Monday, after climbing nearly 20% on Friday. Baidu’s US-listed shares were up more than 15% as trade closed on Friday.

Geely will be responsible for the actual manufacture of the vehicles. Baidu will focus on car software and technology. The research giant has already tested its driverless car software, named Apollo, during public robotaxi trials in Beijing.

Baidu also has its own map app and voice assistant technology called DuerOS, which can be fitted inside a vehicle.

The Chinese electric vehicle market continues to grow, aided by government support such as subsidies and the construction of charging infrastructure.

National electric automakers Nio, Li Auto, and Xpeng Motors all reported increased deliveries for December. Baidu hopes to participate in some of the action of electric vehicles.

“China has become the world’s largest market for EVs (electric vehicles), and we are seeing EV consumers demanding next-generation vehicles to be smarter,” said Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, in a statement. communicated.

The electric car market continues to become more competitive, with companies increasing the production and release of new vehicles.

On Saturday, Nio released its first sedan called the et7. Apple iPhone maker Foxconn has signed an agreement with Chinese electric car maker Byton to help it produce its first vehicle.

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