Alibaba Group said on Friday it is partnering with Chinese automaker Geely to accelerate the digitalization of the world’s largest car market.
The duo struck a broad-ranging strategic partnership on areas including cloud computing, sustainable development and digitalization of the automotive industry, Alibaba said in a statement.
Leveraging Alibaba’s digital capabilities and Geely’s expertise in smart vehicles, they will work on building digital solutions for the auto industry.
Connected, electric and autonomous cars are gaining ground in China. The number of intelligent and connected vehicles in China will reach 28 million by 2025, accounting for 82% of cars in the country, according to China’s state agency National Development and Reform Commission.
Computers on Wheels
Geely, one of China’s largest carmakers, has been making the leap from a traditional automaker to a mobility tech company. It has launched a series of electric vehicles with intelligent capabilities and doubled down on smart technologies to improve cars’ autonomous driving experience.
As cars become computers on wheels, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are essential for vehicles of the future.
Under the strategic partnership, Alibaba’s cloud computing arm will help Geely boost computing efficiency, and work with Geely’s research institute to explore building an intelligence computing platform.
It will also work with Geely to build data-driven manufacturing capabilities, powered by cloud-native technology.
More than 70% of automobile companies in China rely on Alibaba Cloud for cloud computing services, according to Alibaba Cloud. Electric vehicle maker Xpeng worked with Alibaba Cloud earlier last year to launch a computing platform to accelerate AI training for its autonomous driving model.
To be sure, China’s auto industry is highly competitive. Carmakers are increasingly focused on enhancing consumer experience to gain an edge.
Geely can rely on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall for marketing expertise. The e-commerce platform has provided a one-stop solution for consumers that want to buy cars online, from searching for their favorite models to vehicle pickup and delivery.
Li Shufu, Geely’s founder and chairman, appeared on Alibaba’s livestreaming channel Taobao Live on Thursday to talk about its new premium SUV model Xingyue L Hi-P. More than 1 million viewers tuned in to watch.
Consumers can book a test drive and place their order on Geely’s flagship store on Tmall and its livestreaming channel.