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Report: China's Geely, Daimler in talks to form ride-hailing JV in China

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.'s Chairman Li Shufu is in talks with Germany's Daimler AG to establish a 50-50 ride-hailing and car-sharing joint venture in China, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 9, citing people familiar with the matter.

The sources told Bloomberg that the joint venture will seek to take on SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. in the country. Earlier this year, Japanese tech giant SoftBank and Didi entered into a taxi-hailing joint venture in Japan.

The negotiations between Daimler and the Chinese carmaker have not been finalized, according to Bloomberg's sources.

Daimler reportedly could use its electric-vehicle brand Denza, its joint venture with China's BYD Co. Ltd., in the potential ride-hailing service with Geely.

Spokespeople for the Mercedes-Benz owner and Hangzhou, China-based Geely declined to comment, according to the news agency.

The report comes as the parent of Hong Kong-based automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. in February acquired a nearly 10% stake in Daimler for a reported €7.3 billion.

Daimler has already been operating its Car2Go rental service in China since 2016. The service was launched in the city of Chongqing in southwestern China and was later expanded to other cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

In March, Daimler and German rival Bayerische Motoren Werke AG struck a deal to merge their mobility services business units, which include their Car2Go and DriveNow car-sharing services. Geely also has a ride-hailing app called Caocao that is available in 24 cities in China, Bloomberg said.