What happened: Chinese tech giant Tencent is establishing a mobility joint venture with GAC Group, a carmaker owned by the municipal government of Guangzhou—a province in southern China—and the Guangzhou Public Transport Group, among others. The new firm will receive a total capital of RMB 1 billion ($149 million). GAC will own a 35% stake in the venture, while Tencent and the Guangzhou Public Transport Group will hold 25% and 10%, respectively.
Why it’s important: Chinese tech giants are accelerating their forays into the automotive industry, marketing their digital and machine learning capabilities to traditional automakers. Giant state-backed car manufacturers are the first group of partners for the tech companies to target. Tencent’s announcement comes hot on the heels of Didi Chuxing’s agreement with state-owned BAIC on a new energy vehicle and artificial intelligence joint venture. Baidu has chosen state-owned Hongqi to test out its autonomous driving solutions, while Alibaba has partnered with state-owned SAIC.