"China's Google" to Make Their Own Electric Vehicles

"China's Google" to Make Their Own Electric Vehicles

You might know Baidu as “China’s Google.” They’re about to become directly immersed in one of the most lucrative industries in the world.

Not like Baidu is small potatoes – the Beijing-based search engine owns a 76% market share in China, and according to Alexa’s Internet rankings, Baidu is the fourth-largest website. They established the Apollo driverless vehicle project in 2017, and they’re pondering a joint automotive venture with either Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC), or China FAW Group Corp Ltd’s Hongqi.

Pivoting towards making their own electric vehicles would be a huge shift for Baidu (and the market in general) – especially with Baidu’s long history of enabling China’s censorship apparatus.

As EVs become a cornerstone of the Internet of Things, it’s slightly terrifying that one of the biggest EV manufacturers could have nefarious intentions.

The fact that Baidu previously joined an American AI ethics group (Partnership on AI, or PAI) is even crazier, implying a certain level of trust from the U.S.

After their acceptance into PAI, Baidu’s president said, “Ensuring AI’s safety, fairness and transparency should not be an afterthought but rather highly considered at the onset of every project or system we build.”

Again, this is a company that’s even gone as far censoring coronavirus news at the behest of Beijing.

Read the Reuters release here.