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Didi, BAIC form joint venture to work on green-vehicle projects
Reuters | 2019/1/29

BEIJING -- China's Didi Chuxing said it has set up a joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., a unit of state-owned BAIC, to work on new-energy vehicle and artificial intelligence projects.

The venture, BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co., seeks to develop "next-generation connected-car systems," Didi, China's largest ride-hailing operator, said Monday.

This is the first joint venture between Didi and state-owned BAIC, which wants to stop selling gasoline-powered cars by 2025 as China shifts the industry toward new-energy vehicles. New-energy vehicles include full-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and green alternatives such as fuel cell vehicles.

The joint venture comes as China's market for new-energy vehicles is rapidly growing even as the country's wider auto market cools.

In 2018, car sales in the world's biggest auto market hit reverse for the first time since the 1990s. But new-energy vehicle sales were a bright spot, jumping 61.7 percent to 1.3 million units, China's Association of Automobile Manufacturers has said.

New-energy vehicle sales in China will hit 1.6 million this year, the association estimates.

Didi said 400,000 new-energy vehicles are registered on its platform through its partnerships with leading electric vehicle makers including BYD.

Didi, whose backers include Uber Technologies Inc., Apple Inc. and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp., is reshuffling its domestic business as it expands globally with new services in South America and Australia.

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