Jidu Auto, an electric vehicle venture between tech giant Baidu and automaker Geely, aims to invest 50 billion yuan or $7.7 billion for producing smart cars over the next five years, Reuters reported.
Xia Yiping said the funding would come from Baidu and other investors and Jidu would aim to launch its first electric vehicle (EV) in three years, as is standard for the industry, but would make efforts to speed this up.
Its first EV would look like a robot and would target young customers, Xia said. Jidu would analyse big market data before deciding on a final model.
It plans to hire 2,500 to 3,000 people over two to three years, including 400 to 500 software engineers.