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Here to expand presence in China with new partnerships

Chinese firms together with investment firm GIC plan to acquire a 10% stake in mapping specialist Here.

Digital maps and location services provider Here and Chinese companies NavInfo and Tencent announced a strategic partnership to develop and offer location services for the Chinese market.

NavInfo is a Chinese provider of location services while Tencent is a provider of internet value-added services.

The two Chinese companies, together with global investment firm GIC, also announced plans to jointly acquire a 10% stake in Here, which is currently owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler. The planned transaction would result in Audi, BMW and Daimler reducing their indirect shareholding in in equal measure. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

The planned strategic partnership between Here, NavInfo and Tencent includes the formation of a joint venture in China targeting location services for Chinese and global customers across a range of industries. Based on the JV, Here would extend its services to China making use of NavInfo data and services.

Here and NavInfo also plan to deploy and localize the mapping company’s Auto software development kit for the Chinese market, and collaborate on the creation and provisioning of high-definition mapping and location services for autonomous cars. The companies also intend to extend the range of Here “internet of things” solutions such as fleet management, on-demand services and asset tracking to the Chinese market based on a platform operated by the JV.

“The automotive industry is on the eve of revolution to autonomous driving and alternative energy. We are excited about joining forces and uniting market leaders to deliver outstanding value and take our industry to the next level,” said NavInfo CEO Patrick Cheng.

The strategic agreement between the three firms also stipulates that Tencent will explore the use of Here’s mapping and location platform services and tools in its own products and services both in China and internationally.

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