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Daimler, Geely form JV in China

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A C-class by Daimler AG is pictured before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German carmaker Daimler yesterday said it will form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China together with Geely Group, the first such step since Geely chairman Li Shufu took a 9.69 percent stake in the German carmaker.

“The JV will provide ride-hailing mobility services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including but not limited to Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” sid Daimler in a statement.

The 50:50 joint venture will be headquartered in Hangzhou, China, and use Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class and V-Class vehicles among others.

Financial terms and the investment plans were not disclosed.

Geely’s chairman Li took a stake in Daimler earlier this year and asked the German carmaker to consider forming an alliance in the areas of digital services, autonomous driving and electric vehicle technology.

Daimler initially balked at the prospect of a broad based alliance with Geely, the Chinese carmaking group which also owns Swedish brand Volvo, on fears of alienating BAIC the Chinese joint venture partner of Mercedes-Benz.

Didi is China’s biggest ride-hailing company, cementing its dominance when it bought out Uber’s operations in the country in 2016, and is preparing to launch car-sharing and other on-demand transport services.

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