China’s search giant Baidu to set up an EV making venture – TechCrunch

China’s search giant Baidu Only expanding its car ambitions from software to production. The company said on Monday that it would set up a company to manufacture electric vehicles with the help of Chinese automaker Geely. Baidu, a major player in China’s Internet search market for the past decade, is Geely, while providing smart driving technology, Sweden merges merger with Volvo, Will be in charge of car design and manufacturing.

The move marked the latest company in China’s Internet industry to enter the EV space. In November, the news came that Alibaba and Chinese state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor Joined hands to produce electric cars. Ride-share company Didi and EV manufacturer BYD developed a model for Ride-Healing, which is already attracting customers Ideanomics. Meanwhile, shares of China’s Tesla Challengers such as Xpeng, Li Auto and NIO have risen steadily over the past year.

Baidu’s car push is part of its effort to diversify into a business dependent on search advertising revenue. New media platforms such as Bytdance’s Tutiao News aggregator and short-video app Dion come with their own search feature and have gradually erased the share of traditional search engines such as Baidu. Short video services have emerged as the second most popular channel for Internet search in China, coming ahead of web search engines and ahead of social networks and e-commerce, data analytics firm Xiguang. Shows.

Baidu has been aggressively working on autonomous driving since 2017. Its Apollo ecosystem, which is Billed as “an Android for smart driving” Has accumulated over a hundred manufacturing and supplier partners. Baidu has also been Autonomous driving busy test And more recently A robotic fleet rolled.

The new venture will operate as a Baidu subsidiary, where Geely will operate as a strategic partner and Baidu units such as Apollo and Baidu will contribute to Maps capabilities. The firm will cover the entire industrial chain including vehicle design, research and development, manufacturing, sales and service.

It is unclear how Baidu’s tie with Geely will affect Apollo’s operations, although Baidu promised in its announcement that it would “maintain its spirit of open collaboration in the AI ​​technology industry, furthering the wave of new ecology Strives to work closely with its ecosystem partners to grow. ” Intelligent change. “

“At Baidu, we have long believed in the future of intelligent driving and have invested heavily in AI over the past decade to build a portfolio of world-class self-driving services,” Robin Lee, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer said Baidu.

“We believe that by combining smart transport, connected vehicles and Baidu’s expertise with autonomous driving with Jelly’s expertise as a major automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles.”