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Shanghai launch for new electric carmaker Zhiji Motor

Hu Yumo
Zhiji Motor was launched by SAIC Motor, the Pudong New Area and Alibaba Group on Thursday and it is expected to produce its first model in January next year.
Hu Yumo

Zhiji Motor, a high-end smart electric carmaker, was launched by SAIC Motor, the Pudong New Area and Alibaba Group in Shanghai on Thursday.

The company, to be based at Pudong’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, has raised over 10 billion yuan (US$1.52 billion) in its initial round of financing so far. 

Zhiji Motor will focus on technological innovation and application, as well as create a new operation model by integrating and utilizing SAIC Motor's resources in research and development, manufacturing and marketing. 

Zhiji Motor will take advantage of Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park’s world-class high-tech industrial cluster ecology and core technology resources such as artificial intelligence and chips. Alibaba will focus on the use of big data, the latest technology from Alibaba’s DAMO Academy and the synergistic advantages of Alibaba Cloud and other ecosystems.

The company will launch a variety of high-end electric cars, focusing on the new mobility needs of users, optimizing the experience of immersive autonomous driving, new human-vehicle interaction and content sharing. 

It will also make full use of SAIC Motor's software capabilities to achieve rapid product iteration and continuous service evolution. 

Zhiji Motor's first car is expected to be released in January at events in Shanghai, London and North America.

The company is also to set up an intelligent mobility research institute.

Competition in China's electric vehicle market is intensifying and other large traditional automakers have established separate new-energy brands. The country's sales of new-energy vehicles surged 105 percent year on year to 160,000 units in October, the fourth consecutive month of gains.

Dongfeng Motor has launched its high-end new-energy brand, Voyah, while BAIC has its own spin-off brand known as Arcfox, and Geely has an electric vehicle brand known as Geometry.

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