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    GAC Group to set up trading firm in Greater Bay Area

    By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-03-16 08:03
    A new energy car made by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co displayed at an auto expo in Tianjin. [Photo provided to China Daily]

    Guangzhou Automobile Group Co is planning to set up a trading company and a ride-hailing firm in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, its chairman said.

    Zeng Hongqing, the automaker's chairman, said the company is going to start a trading company in Hong Kong, where the cycle of foreign exchange settlement is shorter than in the Chinese mainland.

    The carmaker is also planning to set up a ride-hailing company in partnership with tech giant Tencent Group, said Zeng, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress.

    "The service will first be launched in (South China's) Guangdong province, and then extended gradually to the Pearl River Delta region and the Greater Bay Area," he told reporters on the sidelines of the two sessions.

    Zeng said his company's ambitious move will be beneficiary to the real economy in the Bay Area, and will offer a good opportunity for the company's development. "We believe the Bay Area can be constructed in a faster manner."

    The Greater Bay Area consists of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region, and nine cities in Guangdong province. The central authorities aim to develop it into "a role model of high-quality development".

    The area has been in the headlines recently, as it is expected to become a fresh leading force for national innovative development. The area is an enormous market with a population of 70 million and a gross domestic product of $1.5 trillion.

    Liu Wei, chairman of Pci-Suntek Technology Co based in Guangdong, called for the setting up of a comprehensive transportation service platform, to shorten travel time in the Bay Area spreading over 56,000 square kilometers.

    An effective way to promote connectivity in the Bay Area is to construct a fully automated and intelligent intercity subway, said Liu, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

    Zeng from GAC Group hopes to turn "intelligent" automobile into reality in the Bay Area, where the road network and traffic management is good.

    "Currently, our vehicles are able to achieve level two automation. Next year, they will be level three," Zeng said. The company will gradually realize automated parking and self-driving on highways, he added.

    There are six levels of vehicle automation, from level zero to level five. Cars in level five cover complete automation in any conditions.

    GAC Group developed its first autonomous car with independent intellectual property rights in 2013. In April, it obtained licenses for testing self-driving vehicles in Chongqing municipality.

    GAC Group operates in 16 countries. In 2018, the company sold 2.15 million cars globally, up 7.34 percent year-on-year.

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