Alibaba Group on Friday formed a strategic partnership with German automaker BMW to establish a joint innovation base in Shanghai for Chinese Internet and automotive startups. Located in the Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone in central Pudong New Area, the new facility will be co-operated by Alibaba’s cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud and BMW Startup Garage, through which the BMW Group collaborates with startup companies.
The joint innovation base plans to provide over 300 enterprises with technical resources and services concerning cloud computing, digitization, cutting-edge automotive technologies, as well as technical training and consulting services within the next three years. More than 5,000 square meters of office area in the base will also be open to startup teams to bring in at least 30 high-quality projects. Some sci-tech firms and projects are expected to get financial support and services.
Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s living habits and also pushed the automotive industry towards an electrified, intelligent and digitalized future. BMW will stick to its commitment to invest in China, and the 34,000 5G base stations and 100,000 charging piles that Shanghai plans to build in three years will provide a preferable environment for BMW to launch its automotive innovation projects, Goller added. “Future cars will become the hub of next-generation network system, bringing a whole new experience to the public,” said Alibaba Group’s vice president Ren Geng, noting that Alibaba will collaborate with BMW to incubate a group of innovative enterprises in Pudong and introduce high-end talents. As a state-level development zone, Jinqiao is the high ground of China’s electronic information and automotive industries.