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Foreign Equities (HK) - Baidu Launches US$145m Venture Cap AI Fund

Publish date: Wed, 07 Jun 2023, 09:10 AM
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Baidu Inc-Class A (9888.HK)

Chinese search giant Baidu Inc will set up a venture capital fund of CN¥1bn (US$145m) to back start-ups focused on content generated by artificial intelligence applications. The company will also launch a competition for developers to build applications off its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products, it added.

In March, Baidu unveiled Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered LLM. Ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was among the other Chinese companies that followed quickly. In response to the surge of LLMs, China published draft regulations in April on the use of generative AI.

BYD Co Ltd-H (1211.HK)

BYD Co., China’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, has begun to penetrate the Southeast Asian market to challenge the stronghold held by Japanese automakers in the region. BYD will expand its product lineup for South-East Asia by watching how the local market reacts. Liu Xueliang, who heads the company’s operation in the region and also serves as president of the Japanese subsidiary, said, “Compared with in China, we still have a long way to go. We would like to add more models as we see how the market responds.”

In March, BYD began constructing its first overseas manufacturing plant in the eastern Thai province of Rayong, in a bid to roll out 150,000 vehicles in 2024. In anticipation of the future market potential, the governments of Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, among others, are competing to attract factories.

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (175.HK)

Major Chinese automaker Geely is in the early stages of planning an entry to Thailand's electric vehicle (EV) market, including weighing models for import and local manufacturing. The considerations include whether to market an entry-level electric car in Thailand as well as an electric pickup truck from its new Radar brand.

Thailand offers some subsidies for EVs, provided automakers commit to bringing production of cars and parts to the country over a period of several years. "They have to decide what model to bring to Thailand," adding that Geely's review included the possibility of building a plant in the country.

Haier Smart Home Co Ltd-H (6690.HK)

The global leader in home appliances, Haier has announced a collaboration with one of the four mega-events in the Grand Slam, Roland-Garros 2023, also known as the French Open Tennis Tournament.

The Roland-Garros Tournament is well-known over the world as a top-tier grand slam. Haier’s sponsorship of this prestigious event will increase the brand’s worldwide visibility. For 14 years in a row, Euromonitor International has ranked Haier as the globe’s topranked big home appliance manufacturer by retail volume.

This collaboration with a premier sporting event will provide Haier with a new platform where worldwide users can learn about Haier’s comprehensive smart goods and solutions, increasing its user base and speeding up global smart home implementation.

Xiaomi Corp-Class B (1810.HK)

Xiaomi partners with Indian assembler to manufacture mobile phones in India. Contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies announced a partnership with the Indian division of Xiaomi Corp to produce and export phones for the Chinese smartphone maker.

Xiaomi formerly held the top spot in the Indian smartphone industry, but it has since waned in the face of increased regulatory scrutiny and fierce competition.

In an effort to cut costs, Xiaomi India President Muralikrishnan B. told Reuters earlier in March that the company would expand beyond its present network of 20,000 retail partners and increase local procurement of mobile phone parts.

Source: Rakuten Research - 7 Jun 2023

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