Didi sets up joint venture to focus on new energy vehicles and AI
Didi Chuxing said it has entered into a joint venture with an affiliate of state-owned auto holding company BAIC Group, with a focus on projects including new energy vehicles and artificial intelligence.
Beijing Electric Vehicle Co and Didi's subsidiary Xiaoju Automobile Solutions Co have jointly set up BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co Ltd, aiming to develop "next-generation connected-car systems," according to a joint statement.
Xiaoju Automobile holds a 67 percent share in the joint venture, with BJEV holding the remaining 33 percent, which has total registration capital of 400 million yuan (US$59 million).
The two parties are seeking to design and produce customized vehicles especially for ride-sharing to enhance the experience of users and drivers.
Didi's auto solutions platform last year became an independent brand called Xiaoju Auto Care, with new investment of US$1 billion from the parent company, which covers maintenance and repair as well as other before and after sale services for auto owners and rental companies.
Linking with car makers and rental companies by providing them with tailor-made services is another key task for Didi as it intends to cover the whole industry chain in the automobile business, besides just offering car-hailing services for individual riders.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers estimated that new energy vehicle sales in the country are set to reach 1.6 million this year. Last year, new-energy vehicle sales in China surged to 61.7 percent year on year against a 2.8 percent drop of the overall auto market.