Baidu, a Chinese search company, to build an electric vehicle company

The Baidu Inc. logo is displayed at the company’s headquarters on July 3, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Van Xiajun | Visual China Team via Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese Internet company Baidu has confirmed on Monday that it has formed a strategic partnership with automaker Geely to build a separate electric vehicle unit.

The new division will operate as an independent subsidiary of Baidu, the company said Monday.

CNBC first broke the news on Friday, Quoting someone who is familiar with the subject.

The man told CNBC that Beijing-based Byte would be a majority shareholder, while Chinese automaker Keely would take a minority stake.

Shares of Geely listed in Hong Kong were up 0.45% on Monday, up nearly 20% on Friday. Baidu’s U.S.-listed shares were up more than 15% at Friday’s close.

Geely should be responsible for the actual production of the vehicles. Byte will focus on the software and technology in the car. The search engine is already testing public robotics tests on its driverless car software, Apollo Beijing.

Baidu also has its own graphics application and voice assistant technology called Duros, which can be fitted inside a vehicle.

China’s electric vehicle market continues to grow, with the help of the government Such as creating subsidies and collecting infrastructure.

Neo, Le Auto and Xpeng Motors, domestic electric vehicle manufacturer All reported an increase in deliveries for December. Bide hopes to get into some electric vehicle operations.

“China has become the world’s largest market for EVs (electric vehicles), and we see EV consumers demanding that the next generation of vehicles be more intelligent,” said Robin Lee, CEO of Baidu.

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As the electric car market continues to grow competitively, companies are increasing production and output of new vehicles.

On Saturday, Neo released its first sedan, the Ed7. Apple iPhone maker Foxconn Chinese electric car maker has signed an agreement with Python to manufacture its first vehicle.

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