Honda Motor will partner with Alibaba Group to develop services for connected cars as global automakers partner with Chinese internet companies to cater to local needs of consumers in the world’s biggest auto market.

Japan’s third-largest automaker will work with AutoNavi, the mapping and navigation company acquired by Alibaba in 2014, the Nikkei reported, without saying where it got the information.

Landing Honda as a partner would help Alibaba extend its connected-cars business, which it kick-started in 2016 with an internet-connected car with China’s biggest automaker, SAIC Motor. 

Alibaba’s YunOS would compete with platforms such as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in delivering a suite of services from music to navigation for in-vehicle use. 

Tencent Holdings and Guangzhou Auto agreed to collaborate on internet-connected cars, while Baidu is working with Hyundai to develop similar technology.

The total market size for connected vehicles will more than double to US$10.5 billion by 2021 from last year, according to IDC, the industry researcher.


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