Apr 30, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Chinese wireless carrier China Unicom has announced a new autonomous driving partnership with a group of outside investors including three of the country’s top automakers, Dongfeng Motor Group, GAC Group and FAW Group.
The new partnership is part of a mixed ownership reform program by the Chinese government to turn large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) more efficient and competitive by introducing external investors. China Unicom was one of the first SOEs to take part in the program 2 years ago when some of the country’s largest tech companies were invited to take a stake in it.
The new partnership will see 9 new investors taking a stake in China Unicom Smart Connection Technology Co. Ltd which is Unicom’s internet of vehicles unit. Following the investment, Unicom’s stake in the unit will reduced to 69% from 100%.
Unicom Smart Connection Technology which was founded in 2015 with a registered capital of RMB 170 million provides connectivity services to major automobile manufacturers. The nine new investors all possess strong strategic synergies with the company in areas such as automobile manufacturing, industrial internet, technology and capital resources.
The partnership also comes as China prepares to roll out next generation 5G services as soon as next year. Autonomous driving which requires the sharing and processing of large amounts of data in real time is expected to be one of the largest beneficiaries of 5G.
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