Volkswagen's luxury car unit Audi has agreed to deepen collaboration with Chinese internet technology groups to offer more digital services in the world's largest car market.
Audi and FAW-Volkswagen, VW's joint venture with FAW Car Co Ltd, have signed letters of intent with Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, Audi said on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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Parent Volkswagen has been hobbled by a scandal over the rigging of emissions tests, distracting it in a race with global carmakers to develop computer-aided services for drivers.
VW's CEO told a newspaper on Sunday that it has to remain in control of its relationship with car users, which is why it stopped talks with U.S. ride-hailing service Uber and technology giants Google and Apple.
Under the agreement with online search company Baidu, Audi aims to improve the use of smartphone apps in its cars.
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Its projects with social network and online gaming group Tencent include helping drivers to make better use of the WeChat communication app.
VW in May took a $300 million stake in smaller ride-sharing company Gett.