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Waymo establishes wholly owned self-driving subsidiary in Shanghai as Google plans China push

Photo: CGTN

Waymo LLC, self-driving car division of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., established a wholly owned company called Huimo Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co. on May 22 in Shanghai’s free trade zone with registered capital of 3.5 million yuan ($509,165), according to China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

Its business scope includes business information consultancy, corporation management consultancy, trading information consultancy, supply chain management consultancy, logistics information consultancy, and design and testing of self-driving car parts.

Kevin Bradley Vosen serves as the legal representative of the firm.

Alphabet Inc’s Google, which shuttered its Chinese search engine in 2010 amid what it called government attempts to “limit free speech on the Web”, is reportedly planning to return to the world’s biggest market where most of its products are banned by the regulators.

Waymo’s move comes as the Chinese authorities make a major push into self-driving cars to keep pace with the US in a global race to develop autonomous smart vehicles.

Earlier this year, China issued licenses to automakers, allowing self-driving cars to be road-tested in Shanghai, including Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. and electric vehicle start-up NIO.

Following that, the tech giant Baidu also got green light to perform open-road tests for its driverless vehicles.

“Waymo’s entry into the Chinese market will certainly make a difference,” said one industry insider. “No matter it brings cooperation or competition, it will promote technological development of the whole industry.”

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