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Waymo Sets Up Shop In China To Test Its Self-Driving Car Tech

Waymo Sets Up Shop In China To Test Its Self-Driving Car Tech
Waymo will start business in China.
According to a business registration filing, a company in Shanghai called Huimo Business Consulting has been registered by the driverless car division of Google's parent company, Alphabet.
The filing said that the major operations that would be conducted by the new company would be designing and testing of parts of self-driving vehicle and other related products, as well as consulting on logistics and other areas.
The capital of the Chinese subsidiary of the company is 3.5 million yuan ($508,000) and the company has mentioned that Waymo is an investor in the Chinese company and has also listed Waymo CEO John Krafcik as a member of the board of the company.
The news was confirmed by the US company which is among the leaders in the development of driverless car technology in the US. The company has said that it has set up a new legal entity in China a number of months ago and there are people who have been hired in there and are already working.  No other details were provided by the company.
There are a number of major Chinese tech companies who have already started work on the development of self-driving vehicles. Such companies include the Chinese social media and gaming company Tencent , e-commerce leader Alibaba , internet search giant Baidu and ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing.
The development of driverless vehicles is being encouraged by the Chinese government and the authorities have issued guidelines on road testing of such technologies in April this year.
There would however be certain particular challenges for Waymo in the Chinese market. It would be difficult for the company to make its won maps in China - a thing that it has been doing itself till now. Mapping of cities is a sensitive issue ion China. While Google Maps can be used on desktops in China, the mobile version of the app is not allowed in the country.
Apart from Waymo, Google has earlier taken a number of measures to create a presence in the second largest economy of the world. 
Ever since Google had left the Chinese market in 2010 and had to withdraw a number of services in the market, the global giant has limited presence in the market. The company had refused to censor its search results. A number of the most popular services of the company such as search, Gmail, YouTube are not allowed in China.
However, other ways to create a presence in the market are being looked out for by the company. The Chinese market has more than more than 800 million internet users.
Opening of an artificial intelligence research center in China was announced by the Google in December. An AI game on WeChat was also recently launched by the company in China. Google Translate and file management app Files Go are available in China as well.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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