April 13, 2021
Chinese web giant Baidu may fancy building its own cars, report says

Chinese web giant Baidu may fancy building its own cars, report says


Baidu currently operates Apollo, it’s self-driving car subsidiary.


Baidu

Baidu, the Chinese internet giant that’s the country’s equivalent of Google, may dip into more than just software for future vehicles — it could actually build cars. According to a Reuters report Tuesday, citing sources close to discussions, the massive company held talks with a handful of local Chinese automakers to either carry out contract manufacturing, or create a majority-owned venture with one of them.

Baidu did not immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment on the report, but such a move would be a major leap forward for the company. To date, major tech firms often focus on the software side of things, not physical cars. Think Alphabet’s Waymo, which primarily uses Chrysler Pacifica minivans, or Amazon, which owns Zoox, and lets the subsidiary tinker with hardware. Essentially, this would be like Google saying it plans to build its own cars.

Reuters reported the shift to building cars comes as revenue stagnates at Baidu in its core search business and the company is eager to diversify its dealings. Right now, its Apollo division is as close as Baidu gets to automobiles. It works with a handful of automakers, including Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford, to work on self-driving technologies. It’s one of numerous companies racing to vault itself into the spotlight with true autonomous tech.



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