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Alibaba vies for a piece of China’s booming EV market

There’s no lack of report these days on China’s tech beings teaming up with traditional carmakers. Corporations from Alibaba to Huawei are striving to become relevant in the trillion-dollar auto industry, which itself is seeking an electric transition and rational modernize as 5G comes of age.

State-owned automaker SAIC Motor, an important player in China, unveiled this week a brand-new electrical vehicle appendage announced Zhiji, in which Alibaba and a Shanghai government-backed entity are minority shareholders. The tie-up comes as Chinese EV startups like Xpeng and Nio and their precede Tesla see their inventories soaring in recent months.

Alibaba’s ties with SAIC can be traced back to 2015 when they collectively announced a $160 million investment in internet-connected gondolas. The partners moved on to form a joint venture announced Banma( or’ Zebra ‘) and Alibaba has since developed a slew of auto answers for the Banma platform to enable everything from voice-activated navigation to voice dictate coffee, which is, of course, connected to the Alipay e-wallet.

Alibaba is certainly not SAIC’s exclusive supplier, as it’s also worked closely with the likes of BMW and Audi as well over the years.

For SAIC’s new EV brand, Alibaba will continue to be its “technology solution provider,” an Alibaba spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The other tech heavyweight uttering big moves in auto is Huawei. This very week, the telecoms equipment and smartphone producer announced it would fold its smart-alecky vehicle part into its customer business radical, which previously focused on handsets. The expanded radical is still steered by Richard Yu, regarded as the man who helped grow Huawei from an underdog in the mobile industry to a producing world player.

Huawei’s goal in automobile is” not to create cars but to focus on developing ICT[ information and communications technology] to assist automakers in producing cars ,” the conglomerate maintains in the statement, addressing rumors that it wants to encroach on traditional carmakers’ turf.

Huawei’s phone business has taken a ten-strike since U.S. sanctions hobbled its afford series. It sold a total budget phone brand Honor recently in the to be expected that the spinoff, independent from Huawei, will be free from trade curbs.

After Baidu tie-up, BMW taps Tencent for autonomous driven by China

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