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Alibaba Launches Electric Sedan In Partnership With China's Largest Automaker: What You Need To Know

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) launched an electric sedan with state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s largest car company, Nikkei Asia reported Thursday (Hong Kong Time).

What Happened: The vehicle, capable of wireless charging, was launched under a new brand — IM. The acronym stands for “intelligence in motion,” according to Nikkei Asia.

The car was jointly developed by Alibaba, SAIC, and Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Development, the investment arm of Shanghai’s local government.

The sedan is powered by a new solid-state battery from Contemporary Amperex Technology, which also supplies Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA). It also uses chips made by Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), as per Nikkei Asia.

IM will reportedly begin taking orders for the vehicle in April at the annual Shanghai auto show. A second SUV vehicle may be delivered to customers in 2022.

Alibaba shares were up 4.29% in Hong Kong at press-time.

Why It Matters: Sales of new-energy vehicles in China have grown 11% to 1.36 million units in 2020, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, noted Nikkei Asia.

UBS auto analyst Paul Gong projected double-digit growth in overall sales with numbers exceeding the 2019 level to 25.77 million vehicles, as per Nikkei Asia.

The Jack Ma-founded company is not the only firm announcing an EV foray. Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Ltd (OTC: HNHPF) better known as Foxconn is teaming up with Chinese EV startup Byton to produce its first vehicle — the M-Byte — by the first quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, Foxconn has also signed a cooperative agreement with Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (OTC: GELYF) to set up a joint venture to provide OEM production and consulting services to global automakers.

This month, China’s search engine giant Baidu, Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) said it would form an EV company and build a strategic partnership with Geely — centered on EVs.

Price Action: Alibaba shares closed 4.3% higher at $235.30 on Wednesday and rose almost 0.4% in the after-hours session.

Click here to check out Benzinga’s EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news.

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