Tencent has bought a stake in a mapping company owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler

Chinese technology group Tencent (the owner of WeChat) has bought a stake in a German-owned mapping company in an attempt to win market share from Baidu and Alibaba, as the three gear up to compete for driverless cars navigation systems. Tencent, along with Chinese mapping provider NavInfo and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, will jointly buy a 10 per cent stake in Here at a price of up to €241 million, the companies announced yesterday. The purchase would reduce the shareholdings of Here’s owners, the German carmakers Audi, BMW and Daimler (previously owned by Nokia, ndr). Providing maps for autonomous cars requires a technological leap. Maps designed to be read by people have a 10 metre accuracy level but autonomous cars will need to know where they are to the nearest centimetre… Tencent faces an uphill battle for smartphone map users in a sector dominated by Baidu and Alibaba’s recent entrant Amap, which it acquired two years ago from AutoNavi… China only allows a small number of licensed domestic providers to make maps of the country because of national security concerns.


Yuan Yang