China issued on Thursday the first batch of licenses for road tests of driverless vehicles to NIO, a Chinese electric vehicle startup, and the state-owned auto maker SAIC Motor.

The licenses would allow the two auto makers to test the vehicles (in Chinese) on a 5.6-km public road in Jiading District of Shanghai, as reported by state media Xinhua.

Based in Shanghai, NIO is a smart automobile maker backed by Baidu, Tencent, and Xiaomi. SAIC Motor, a partner of Alibaba and manufacturing partner of GM, has obtained permits for one of its smart car models—the MG iGS.

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Timmy Shen

Timmy Shen is a technology reporter based in Beijing. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. Send tips and feedback to timmyshen@technode.com or follow him on twitter at...