Baidu plans smart EV company, to make cars at Geely plant

Platform News: Baidu search engine in China

Baidu plans to form a company to produce intelligent electric vehicles (EV), two sources familiar with the issue said, with manufacturing to be performed at plants owned by automaker Geely.

Baidu, the top search engine business in China, will take a vast majority stake and absolute voting power from the new company.

The partnership will revamp some of Geely’s existing car manufacturing centres to make the vehicles, using in-car applications input from Baidu and engineering know-how in Geely, sources told Reuters.

The firms are in discussions to utilize Geely’s EV-focused platform, Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), for future product development, among those sources, who declined to be identified as the plan was personal, said.

Baidu, which will be growing autonomous driving technologies and net connectivity infrastructure, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Geely declined to comment.

Baidu’s Nasdaq-listed stocks jumped more than 4 percent after jounalists at our partner news agency Reuters reported that the strategy.

Reuters had reported last month that Baidu was contemplating making its own EVs and had held talks with Geely, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC) and China FAW Group Corp Ltd’s Hongqi on a possible venture.

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Baidu’s rival Alibaba has made an EV joint venture with China’s biggest automaker SAIC Motor Corp while China’s Didi Chuxing is creating EVs created for ride hailing providers with BYD. Cheered by Tesla Inc’s success in commercialisation of EVs, internet giants such as Tencent Holdings, and Alphabet, also have developed auto-related technologies or invested in smart-car start-ups. People knowledgeable about the matter said last month Apple is pushing to design an electrical car and batteries, aiming at a possible 2024 launch.

Hangzhou-based Geely, China’s highest-profile automaker because of group investments in Volvo Cars, Daimler AG and also Malaysia’s Proton, is enlarging EV production. Shares of its primary listed company, Geely Automobile, which aims to sell 1.53 million vehicles this year, jumped over 10 percent on Friday.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh. Editing by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan and Lincoln Feast.

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