will team up to make electric vehicles for the Chinese market, deepening the internet giant’s foray into automobiles as its core business slows,” Bloomberg
reported citing a source with knowledge on the matter.
The two companies may announce the partnership as soon as next week, the person added. As part of the deal, Baidu will control the joint venture with a majority stake. The search engine giant reportedly chose to work with automotive company Geely after discussions with other industry players such as WM Motor, Guangzhou Automobile Group, and FAW Group. The venture marks Baidu’s expansion into the auto-making industry, an endeavor that also includes Apollo, its open-sourced platform for autonomous driving and connectivity. With the move, Baidu will be able to push Apollo’s adoption in more vehicles after investing billions into the technology in 2015, the source said.
Baidu and Geely are set to build EVs for the Chinese audience at the latter’s production plants, but it’s uncertain if the tie-up will be working on producing self-driving cars in the future.
Both companies declined Bloomberg‘s requests for comments.