GUANGZHOU, China- Baidu is a famous Chinese search giant planning to create a standalone electric vehicle company. Moreover, the Beijing-headquartered company will be the majority shareholder while Chinese automaker Geely will take a minority stake, as per the report. Manufacturing of the vehicle will be the responsibility of Geely while Baidu will focus on the software behind the car.
After Reuters first reported the news, Hong Kong-listed shares of Geely rose more than 13%. Heavily Baidu relies on advertising revenue but it is looking forward to spreading business to other areas like cloud computing and autonomous driving software, areas that analysts see as promising for the company.
Well, the company is on the verge of testing its driverless car software named Apollo. This public robotaxi trial is done in Beijing. Baidu has its own map app and voice assistant technology that is called DuerOS that can be equipped inside a vehicle. China’s electric car market is now growing immensely with government support in the form of subsidies and charging infrastructure.
Sales of the electric vehicle from January through November rose by almost 4.4% from a year ago and there is a 7.6% decline in the overall passenger car sales during the same time, as per China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Baidu is stepping into an increasingly competitive market competing with the likes of Tesla as well as domestic electric vehicle firms like Nio, Li Auto, and Xpeng Motors. Recently, the latter three firms reported a rise in car deliveries for December.
China’s tech giants have been investing in electric vehicles or auto-related technology. Alibaba is an investor in Zhiji, an electric vehicle business created by Chinese state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor. Meanwhile, ride-hailing firm Didi launched its electric vehicle with automaker BYD which is backed by billionaire Warren Buffett.
Hyundai Motor said that it was in early-stage discussions over a tie-up with Apple to make the cars.