China has promised to open up its markets for foreign players, but most car makers keep up lining up for domestic partners. For good reasons, says London-based lawyer Mark Schaub, since domestic partners still have huge advantages, he tells in Bloomberg.
GM has chosen Alibaba-owned AutoNavi for its Super Cruise driver-assistance system on Cadillacs it plans to sell in China. SAIC Motor Corp., the country’s biggest carmaker, bought shares in license holder Wuhan Kotei Informatics Co. and formed a joint venture to develop driver-less mapping. Didi Chuxing, the country’s largest ride hailing startup, obtained a license in 2017 and has a team working on maps and driver-less technology. Even online retailer JD.com has applied for a HD mapping license as it works on driver-less delivery trucks.
The lure of the Chinese market is likely to keep foreign carmakers lining up for local partners and give the domestic players an edge, said Mark Schaub, a partner at King & Wood Mallesons in Shangai who specializes in foreign investment in China.
“It’s true these guys do have an advantage already,” he said.
Mark Schaub has been publishing extensively about the automotive industry and the new rules for self-driving cars. More you can find here.