After reports by South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper surfaced on Saturday to suggest that Hyundai and Tencent are cooperating to develop software for driverless vehicles, the Korean automaker issued a statement that the tie-up is in fact for infortainment, such as navigational services and music streaming, Reuters reported.
Though Tencent is known for its social media platform WeChat and its status as one of the world’s largest gaming companies, it has also been making investments in autonomous driving.
In March, the company’s Keen Security Lab released research findings on the flaws in Tesla’s driving assistance system Autopilot.
Last year, Tencent was one of eight companies that conducted road tests for autonomous vehicles in China, as shown by a report released by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. In these tests, Tencent’s vehicle traveled for 259 kilometers.
The Chinese tech conglomerate has also been investing in electric and autonomous cars. Together with Alibaba, retailer Suning and three Chinese automakers, Tencent agreed in March to establish a limited partnership with RMB 9.76 billion (USD 1.46 billion) to invest in promising startups in smart mobility.
Earlier in the year, in late January, Guangzhou Automobile Group said it would form a joint venture with a Tencent subsidiary to establish a mobility platform.
Tencent also holds a 5% stake in Tesla, and was the leading investor in the Series B fundraising round of Chinese e-vehicle brand NIO, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Contact the writer at Jingli@kr-asia.com