In a move that may seem strange to us in the West but is actually quite common in Asia, a number of Chinese technology companies began expanding into the automotive industry a few months ago, chief among them being Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. The company has established a new car division which will be led by the former leader of the company’s group-shopping platform.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s newly established car division will integrate its overall motor-related businesses and provide car owners with various online-to-offline (O2O) motor services, including new car and second-hand car transactions, localized services, and motor financing, a Sina news report said on Wednesday. Wang Licheng, former leader of Alibaba’s group-shopping platform Juhuasuan, will take charge of the new division, according to the report. Over 50 mainstream car brands, including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Buick, Chevrolet, and Toyota, have inked a contract with Alibaba’s auto division. The group also announced that its O2O network covers over 10,000 authorized car dealerships and 20,000 car service outlets across the country. The new move came after a clutch of Chinese technology giants, including Alibaba itself, made moves into the auto industry in the country months ago.