Map provider Here forms partnership with Alibaba
28 October 2016 - Automotive News
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands -- Here, a major automotive provider of maps for onboard navigation systems owned by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, says it has formed a partnership with Alibaba to offer maps, traffic updates and navigation to Alibaba's customers.
"By collaborating with Here, we enable Alibaba Cloud customers to easily integrate location functionalities into their applications," said Dajiang Han, chief of Alibaba's global cloud marketplace.
The alliance will help Alibaba enhance its YunOS operating system -- which it developed for smartphones, tablets and smart watches --for the car.
In July, Alibaba showcased its infotainment system in Chinese carmaker SAIC's Roewe RX5 SUV. The system allows drivers to book a parking space, order a coffee and pay for it by using the company's Alipay system.
The Chinese e-commerce company wants to compete with Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay systems, which allow motorists to display selected smartphone apps -- such as music, maps and phone numbers -- on a car's console screen.
For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, Alibaba reported sales of $15.9 billion (107 billion yuan). Founded by billionaire Jack Ma, the company is based in the east China city of Hangzhou.
BMW, Mercedes and Audi bought Here for 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion) late last year from mobile equipment maker Nokia of Finland.