Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving technology development subsidiary, has set up a Chinese subsidiary to test and design its self-driving cars, as discovered recently by Chinese media.
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Official filing records suggest that a Shanghai company called Huimo Business Consulting had been registered back on May 22 and is fully owned by Waymo.
The China subsidiary was registered with 3.5 million yuan ($511,176) and has hands in various businesses including consulting services in business, corporate management, trade, supply chain, logistics and component designs and testing for driver-less automobiles. The legal representative and chairman of the new subsidiary is Kevin Bradley Vosen.
Waymo later confirmed the registration of the legal entity and claimed that there are already employees working in Shanghai, but declined to provide any further comments.
The registration marks Waymo’s first entry into China amidst a series of attempts made by Alphabet to grab a foothold in the country.
Waymo’s China entry is in fact well grounded. In July, Wang Min, China Head of Waymo showed up at a launch event of the driver-less delivery product of Meituan.
According to consulting firm Navigan, Waymo has stepped up five ranks on the list of 19 most notable self-driving vehicle companies globally to second place, placing itself as the unarguable market leader in the global autonomous vehicle space. Waymo is also facing cut-throat competition from a cluster of fast-growing start-ups such as Nio, Pony.ai and Jingchi.