Tencent Holdings Ltd and China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group are partnering to build smart vehicles. Geely said Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Tencent to build smart vehicle cockpit, autonomous drive and low carbon vehicles.
Geely said in a statement that both companies will jointly revolutionize the intelligent car sector by developing smart car cockpits to have more mobile and mobility service applications, and explore testing of autonomous driving.
“The global automotive industry is facing profound changes and new technologies are restructuring the industrial ecology,” An Conghui, President of Geely said. “Looking ahead to the future, we must be open to cooperation, joint development, and new innovations. With a cooperative relationship spanning three years, Geely and Tencent is now deepening their partnership and working to digitalize the entire automotive value chain.”
“At the same time, we hope to fulfill our responsibility to society by jointly promoting sustainable low carbon development throughout the automotive industry,” he added.
It is the latest of such partnerships in the evolving self-driving vehicle technology.
Tencent and Geely have a history of cooperation that dated back to 2018, when they formed a joint venture with China Railways to develop high speed railway mobility service applications. In 2019, ECARX, a subsidiary of Geely, signed a cooperative agreement with Tencent Auto to jointly develop intelligent connectivity services, AI, cloud services and joint user operations.
Tecent has successfully had its applications integrated into many car models, including Geely and Lynk & Co.
Tang Daosheng, senior Executive Vice President of Tencent said the partnership will yield growth considering the success of the companies’ cooperation so far.
“Tencent and Geely have cooperated with each other since 2018 and have achieved much together. Today, the digitalization of the mobility sector has reached a new level and the time for Geely to digitally transform all aspects of their automotive product lifecycle is upon us.
As Geely’s strategic digital partner, Tencent hopes to help the Geely Auto Group further its digital transformation and promote further sustainable development of the automotive industry,” he said.
Geely owns Volvo cars and holds 9.7% of Damler, while Tencent has investments in Electric Vehicle (EV) makers, Tesla and Nio. Geely said earlier this month that it would launch a smart electric Vehicle company with Baidu Inc and later form a separate venture with Foxconn to provide contract manufacturing for automakers.
Tesla’s success and Elon Musk’s slingshot to the top of Billionaires Index appear to have ignited the interest of tech companies in smart and electric vehicles.
Chinese web search giant, Baidu, had earlier announced it’s going into partnership with Geely, in a deal which it will provide smart driving technologies while Geely will be in charge of car design and manufacturing.
Alibaba and Chinese state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor had teamed up to produce electric cars. Ridesharing company Didi, and BYD, producer of EVs have co-developed a model for ride-hailing.
In the US, Amazon, Apple and Google are already in the business of smart electric vehicles production. With the increasing interest in the fast-growing industry, Facebook is expected to announce EV production partnership very soon.