Tesla’s fourth-largest shareholder, Tencent Holdings, is reportedly looking to come to market with its own self-driving technology. Reports of a self-driving prototype being tested by the Chinese tech and media investment firm drove company shares up 3% in trading action on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Tencent will be leveraging its mapping and AI technology to compete in an industry that’s become increasingly more congested as big names in technology like Google, Apple, Uber, Tesla, and local search giant Baidu, pour heavy investment dollars into an emerging $42 billion industry, says Bloomberg.
It’s not clear if the Chinese investment firm, who recently snapped up 12% of Snapchat amid reports that the Southern California-based tech company continues to see a decline in new users, will utilize a derivative of Tesla’s LiDAR-free Vision system when it comes to market with its self-driving suite. However, based on previous investments made by the company in mapping and image recognition technology, and Tesla, we can expect Tencent to leverage institutional knowledge, as it develops technology to bring China’s driverless future to life. Local search giant, Baidu, is also developing its own AI-based autonomous vehicle technology that’s aimed at becoming the platform for a fleet of electric cars in the world’s largest automotive market.
Tencent Holdings also holds a position in electric supercar startup Nio. The Chinese-Silicon Valley-based company recently smashed the Nürburgring lap record in its 1,390 hp all-electric NIO EP9.