Mention autonomous driving in China and the first name that comes up will typically be Baidu. After all, it was the first Chinese tech company to put serious money into researching and developing autonomous driving technologies.

In late 2017, Baidu announced a RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion) Apollo Fund to invest in 100 self-driving projects over the course of the next three years. The fund was the largest of its kind in the global industry.

Baidu also boasts a massive ecosystem of varied partnerships with more than 150 OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, chip makers, and mobility firms. Meanwhile, just like its counterparts in the US, the Chinese search giant remains a highly-rated prospect as it vows to launch the country's first robotaxi service by the end of this year.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.