Nio is trying to stand out from a wave of Chinese electric vehicle competitors through its technology. The company is hoping its partnership with Tencent can help it boost its tech prowess in areas from mapping to autonomous driving.
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Tencent — a gaming, social media and cloud computing titan — has signed a cooperation agreement with Nio, one of Tesla’s rivals in China, as the firms look to cash in on Beijing’s focus on so-called new energy cars.
The partnership could allow Tencent to do this, while also giving Nio the technology backing of one of China’s biggest firms. Tencent is already a major investor in Nio, which is striving to differentiate itself from a sea of electric car start-ups.
Nio and Tencent said on Monday they will work together on high-precision mapping systems for drivers. Nio will also be using Tencent’s cloud computing infrastructure for data storage and training for autonomous driving. Driverless cars require huge amounts of real-time data to be processed in order to train algorithms.
Tencent’s partnership with Nio gives the company another opportunity to push into new business areas as its core video gaming business, which has been battered by strict domestic regulation, continues to face headwinds.
Nio meanwhile is facing its own challenges, including widening losses and pressure on margins from higher material costs and supply chain issues.
Still, the company delivered 31,607 vehicles in the third quarter, marking a quarterly delivery record for the start-up.
However, China’s once high-flying EV start-ups have seen their share prices hammered this year as investors turned away from growth stocks and China’s economy faced a slew of problems.