Investing in the automotive market should be the next step for Baidu, Asia’s largest search platform. The company, which has for some time already considered making its own electric car, appears to have chosen automaker Geely as its partner in this new venture, as reported by Reuters on Thursday (7).
Google’s rival has even met with some industry giants in China, such as Guangzhou Automobile Group and Hongqi, among others. But according to the sources heard by the publication, the brand chosen will be Geely, the current owner of Volvo and which has a partnership with Daimler, a group that owns Mercedes-Benz.
The two companies are expected to form a joint venture, in which Baidu would have a majority stake and would be responsible for supplying the software for the electrified model. On the other hand, Geely would give up the facilities used for the production of automobiles of its brands and enter with the engineering know-how.
At the moment, there is no further information on when this partnership between the two Chinese brands will be officially announced or about the technical details of the car. But according to rumors, Baidu’s electric car is close to becoming a reality.
The automotive industry is not something entirely new for Baidu. Since 2017, the Chinese search giant has operated the autonomous transport service Apollo Go Robotaxi, in addition to launching an electric and autonomous bus in 2018, capable of carrying 14 passengers.
It also provides technology and artificial intelligence systems for Geely itself, also serving automakers such as Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen.
The same path has been followed by other Chinese technological companies, such as Alibaba, which invested in the electrified vehicle startup XPeng, and Didi Chuxing, whose joint work with BYD yielded an electric car for application drivers.