The Baidu company logo was displayed at the company headquarters in Beijing, China on July 3, 2019.
Wan Xiaojun | Visual China Group via Getty Images
The two companies confirmed on Monday that Chinese Internet giant Baidu has established a strategic partnership with automaker Geely to create an independent electric vehicle division.
The company said on Monday that the new division will operate as an independent subsidiary of Baidu.
CNBC first reported the news on Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The person told CNBC that Beijing-based Baidu will become a major shareholder, while Chinese automaker Geely will hold a minority stake.
Geely will be responsible for the actual manufacturing of the vehicle. Baidu will focus on software and technology in cars. The search giant has already tested its driverless car software called Apollo in a public robot trial in Beijing.
Baidu also has its own map application and voice assistant technology called DuerOS, which can be installed in the vehicle.
With government support, such as subsidies and the construction of charging infrastructure, China’s electric vehicle market continues to grow.
Domestic electric car manufacturers Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng Motors all reported a surge in deliveries in December. Baidu hopes to participate in some electric vehicle operations.
Baidu CEO Robin Li said in a statement: “China has become the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, and we see electric vehicle consumers demand smarter next-generation vehicles.
As the company increases the production and release of new vehicles, the electric vehicle market will continue to become more competitive.
Last Saturday, Weilai Automobile released its first sedan called et7. Apple iPhone maker Foxconn has signed an agreement with Chinese electric car maker Byton to help it produce its first car.