The Baidu Inc. logo is displayed. At the company’s headquarters on July 3, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Wan Xiaojun | Visual China Group via Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese internet giants Baidu confirmed, on Monday, a strategic partnership with automaker Geely to create an independent electric vehicle unit.
The company said on Monday that the new unit will operate as an independent subsidiary of Baidu.
CNBC first reported the news on FridayQuoting a person familiar with the matter.
The person told CNBC that Beijing-based Baidu would be the major shareholder while Chinese carmaker Geely would acquire a minority stake.
Hong Kong-listed Geely shares rose slightly, up 0.45% on Monday, after surging nearly 20% on Friday. US-listed Baidu shares rose more than 15% at the close of trading on Friday.
Geely will be responsible for the actual manufacturing of the vehicles. Baidu will focus on software and technology in the car. The search giant was already testing its driverless car program, called Apollo, in its public robotics trials in Beijing.
Baidu also has its own mapping app and voice assistant technology called DuerOS, which can be equipped in-car.
The electric vehicle market in China continues to grow, with the help of government subsidies Such as subsidies and building shipping infrastructure.
Domestic electric car maker Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng Motors, Everyone reported an increase in deliveries for the month of December. Baidu hopes to participate in some electric vehicle business.
“China has become the world’s largest market for electric cars, and we see consumers of electric cars demand next-generation vehicles to be smarter,” said Robin Lee, CEO of Baidu, in a statement.
The electric vehicle market continues to become more competitive as companies ramp up production and launch of new cars.
at. Saturday, Nio has released its first sedan called the et7. Foxconn is an Apple iPhone maker It signed a deal with Chinese electric car maker Byton to help produce its first vehicle.