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Toyota Backs China’s Didi With $600M To Expand Services

In a move to develop new car technologies in China, Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to invest $600 million in ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing

Toyota will also form a new joint venture as it seeks to advance connected and electric vehicles in China, Reuters reported on Thursday (July 25).

The new joint venture includes its partnership with China’s GAC Group and aims to advance fleet management, vehicle rental services and maintenance. Toyota is also partnering with Japanese auto parts maker Denso Corp.

Automakers are partnering with ride-hailing firms like Didi as a way to introduce their own services and advance the next generation of connected vehicle technologies. With the progression of 5G technology, there is a push to including self-driving and so-called vehicle-to-everything automation, the news service said.

Toyota is also working with Chinese battery makers in a push to generate more sales of electric vehicles by 2025, a move that’s in line with global regulations. 

Sources told Reuters in June that Didi was in talks with Nissan Motor Co Ltd and its China partner, Dongfeng Automobile Co Ltd, to form another fleet-management venture.

Didi is also in the process of launching an online financial system targeting car leasing and fleet management outfits. The new service will try to make Didi’s partners lives easier by providing them with risk-control tools built from the driver data the company collects about its workers. 

The Chinese ride-hailing giant is also partnering with Chinese insurers and developing a separate program for female passengers and drivers. It also closed a deal with the state-owned car company BAIC in January. 

Other new services Didi is planning include wealth management tools, credit, lending and crowdfunding for serious illnesses. All of the services are geared toward the company’s temporary and short-term workers. The new products will bring Didi into direct competition with the Alibaba Group and technology giant Tencent.

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