Chinese internet giant Tencent (HKEX: 0700) has formed an all-around strategic cooperation with Geely Automobile Group, in areas that include intelligent cockpit, autonomous driving, digital marketing, and low-carbon economy, the company said in a release on Tuesday. Tencent will help Geely digitalize its R&D, manufacturing, marketing, user management, as well as post-sale service.
The partnership between both firms dates back to 2018 when they formed a joint venture with state-owned China Railway Investment. Geely-backed Ecarx, which builds intelligent cockpits, in 2019 joined Tencent Auto Intelligence, in which several automakers co-developed internet-connected vehicles.
The new alliance comes after Geely’s parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group formed a strategic cooperation with Baidu earlier this month.
“Geely, as the largest private automaker in China, needs to cooperate with different internet companies to build its ecosystem to better serve its users,” Zhang Xiang, an auto analyst with an Industry Ministry-affiliated think tank focused on new energy and connected vehicles, told KrASIA on Wednesday.
Baidu runs an autonomous driving unit called Apollo, Baidu Maps, as well as Baidu Carlife, a software connecting smartphones with vehicles, while Tencent has advantages in social and gaming, Zhang said.
“Tencent’s cooperation with Geely seems quite general and vague, which may lead to only one or two achievements in the future,” he said. “It is quite possible though that Geely will manufacture vehicles for Baidu.”