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GM ventures into China car-sharing with investment in app developer

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. automaker General Motors Co made its first investment in a Chinese car-sharing start up, the company said on Tuesday, as its attempt to reshape itself as a mobility solutions company spreads around the globe.

A GM spokeswoman declined to disclose the size of the investment in Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology Co Ltd, which developed the car-rental and car-sharing app Feezu.

"This cooperation is very important to our company to explore ride-sharing market in China," the spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters. "It is GM's first investment in a start-up in China related to urban mobility."

GM and other major global automakers have rushed to team up with technology companies as services like ride hailing and car sharing pose a threat to the traditional model of car ownership.

This year GM made a $500 million investment in U.S. ride-hailing company Lyft, while Japan's Toyota partnered with Uber and Germany's Volkswagen tied up with Israel-based car-hailing firm Gett.

Yi Wei Xing did not respond to requests for comment.

Feezu, whose Chinese name translates as "micro car rental," allows users to rent vehicles for as little as 10 minutes. The app differs from services like Uber and Lyft that primarily hail cars with drivers.

In January, GM launched its Maven car-sharing service in the U.S.




(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Kim Coghill)