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Volvo Cars to launch joint venture with ECARX to develop smart car software systems

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FILE PHOTO: IAA truck show in Hanover
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Swedish premium automaker Volvo Cars will launch a joint venture with ECARX, a smart car technology startup co-founded by Geely's chairman, to develop in-car operation software systems, the companies said on Tuesday.

ECARX, which was founded by its chief executive Shen Ziyu and Geely chairman Li Shufu in 2016, focuses on technology used in car chips, high-definition maps and smart vehicles.

The joint venture, which will be headquartered in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, will develop in-car operation software systems for Volvo Cars, other brands under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and potentially other companies.

"The planned joint venture would allow both companies and the wider Geely Group to speed up technology development, improve cost efficiency and create new revenue streams," the companies said in the statement.

The announcement comes as ECARX has sought to raise funds in recent months to develop future technologies. It has said its valuation exceeds $2 billion.

ECARX raised over $200 million from investors including China Reform last month and $195 million in October in a funding round that included Baidu Inc and U.S. firm Susquehanna International Group.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Ryan Woo; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)