China's largest carmaker SAIC Motor announced the launch of Zhiji Motor, a high-end smart electric vehicle brand, on Nov 26, aiming to shape it into an innovator in the field of intelligent vehicles.
Jointly invested by SAIC Motor, Shanghai Pudong New Area, and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Zhiji Motor secured over 10 billion yuan ($1.52 billion) in a recent round of financing, setting a record among auto tech startups in China.
It will focus on system and technological innovation and put more weights on user data intelligence. It will also use Pudong's resources and Alibaba's technological strength in the field of artificial intelligence and big data to empower itself.
Brand-new operating model integrating user data
As a user-oriented auto tech startup, Zhiji Motor will develop a brand-new operating model that seeks to benefit both users and enterprises.
In the future, data from users will become a core part of the value chain of Zhiji Motor for the development of new products. This means that users will become the driving force behind Zhiji Motor's entire business chain, which includes R&D, production, manufacturing, and marketing.
Data generated in daily use will be automatically processed by AI to promote product iteration and brand building. In this way, Zhiji Motor is expected to build a new operating model that enhances product and brand value by interacting with user data.
Making a breakthrough in smart car development
Zhiji Motor is committed to product and technological innovation. In light of an upsurge in content creation and instant sharing in the 5G era, it plans to develop its ECU controller to enable a high degree of customization and improve the driving experience.
It has already established a research institute focusing on smart mobility with global scientific and technological professionals. The institute will develop an international-level R&D system that involves data processing, smart driving, and aesthetic design.
At the same time, Zhiji Motor will cooperate with three masters in leading architecture, new media art, and cutting-edge art professionals to make auto designs more artistic in response to the rising demand of China's new generation of consumer groups.
Leveraging resources from three sides
With support from SAIC Motor, Pudong New Area, and Alibaba Group, Zhiji Motor is expected to become a global leader in the smart car industry.
SAIC Motor's more than 60 years of experience in car manufacturing, technical accumulation, complete auto parts system, global layout, sufficient capital reserves, and rich cooperation resources will provide a solid foundation for the development of Zhiji Motor.
Pudong New Area will make use of core technology resources such as artificial intelligence and computer chips, as well as the world-class high-tech industrial cluster at the Zhangjiang High-tech Park, to empower Zhiji Motor.
Alibaba will contribute user big data, Alibaba Cloud, and other advanced AI technology.