Chinese tech giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) will form a company dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs) and obtained a partner to manufacture these cars. This is according to an article published Thursday by Reuters citing “two sources familiar with the subject”.
According to these sources, the manufacturer is the first Chinese automaker Geely. Some of this company’s current facilities will be modified to produce the Baidu unit’s EVs. The tech company will provide the software that forms the “brains” of cars, while Geely will intervene on the engineering side. It is not known what the financial and operational terms of the Baidu / Geely arrangement might be.
As for the dedicated company, Baidu will hold a majority stake and control 100% of its voting rights.
Baidu has yet to comment on the Reuters article. It comes several weeks after the news agency announced that Baidu was considering entering the electric vehicle business. At the time, it was reported that the company had had preliminary talks not only with Geely, but also with Guangzhou Automotive Group and Hongqi, on potential manufacturing partnerships.
While Baidu is best known for being a search engine operator, like its American counterpart Alphabet, he ventured into advanced automotive technology.
Last year, for example, Baidu rolled out its Apollo Go robotaxi service to several Chinese cities. While this represents a breakthrough in advanced driving technology, it is not a fully autonomous solution – a human driver is present in case their assistance is required to operate the vehicle.