Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Frankfurt —  German car maker Daimler says it will form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China together with Geely, the first such step since Geely chair Li Shufu took a 9.69% stake in the German car maker.

"The joint venture will provide ride-hailing mobility services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including but not limited to Mercedes-Benz vehicles," Daimler in a statement describing the alliance.

The 50-50 joint venture will be headquartered in Hangzhou, China and use Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class and V-Class vehicles among others, Daimler said.

Financial terms and the investment plans were not disclosed.

Geely's chair Li took a stake in Daimler earlier in 2018 and asked the German car maker to consider forming an alliance in the areas of digital services, autonomous driving and electric vehicle technology.

Daimler initially balked at the prospect of a broad-based alliance with Geely, the Chinese car making group which also owns Swedish brand Volvo, on fears of alienating BAIC the Chinese joint-venture partner of Mercedes-Benz.

Didi is China's biggest ride-hailing company, cementing its dominance when it bought out Uber's operations in the country in 2016, and is preparing to launch car-sharing and other on-demand transport services.