Chinese internet giant Baidu reportedly plans to invest US$ 100 million in the country’s electric car maker NextEV (in Chinese), in a renewed drive to boost its faltering autonomous driving business. The details of the deal have not been made public; TechNode has reached to Baidu for confirmation, but the company declined to comment.

The alliance between Baidu and the electric car startup is another major move for the internet technology giant to turn itself around after being hit by falling profits. Baidu is now betting big on artificial intelligence to spur its future development. Baidu set up Institute of Deep Learning in 2013, marking the commencement of its research and development on unmanned driving technology.

Yet, the Chinese internet giant has failed to yield concrete results despite its tie-ups with car makers such as BMW and Chery Automobile over the past three years. The exit of its core team members including senior vice president Wang Jin, who was in charge of the autonomous car division, worsened the already muddy prospects.

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Sheila Yu

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at sheila@technode.com.