China’s WeRide makes first acquisition — an autonomous trucking firm

WeRide robotaxis driving close to the southern Chinese town of Guangzhou. The start out-up commenced screening robotaxis in the city in 2019.


GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese driverless vehicle start-up WeRide has built its 1st acquisition, an autonomous trucking business, as it looks to commercialize self-driving know-how.

The Guangzhou-primarily based business purchased MoonX.AI for an undisclosed sum, it introduced on Tuesday.

Qingxiong Yang, founder and CEO of MoonX.AI, will turn out to be vice president of WeRide and dean of the firm’s research institute. A lot more than 50 engineers from MoonX.AI will sign up for WeRide.

WeRide’s acquisition highlights the quick force to commercialize driverless technological innovation in China as competitiveness intensifies. The firm’s rivals involve other start out-ups like and AutoX, both of those based in south China, as properly as technology large Baidu.

Prior to MoonX.AI, Yang worked for the autonomous driving unit of embattled trip-hailing assistance Didi. WeRide hopes to bolster its crew of professionals with the acquisition.

“MoonX has a team of talented engineers with considerable practical experience in autonomous driving technological innovation growth and commercialization,” WeRide CEO Tony Han told CNBC. “The acquisition of MoonX enables us to construct an even more robust staff and entice the finest talents in the field.”

WeRide will also expand its footprint in China, opening a new office environment in the tech hub of Shenzhen.

The acquisition and growth also will come on the back of a funding spherical in May well that valued WeRide at $3.3 billion.

WeRide hints at new products ahead

WeRide focuses on generating autonomous driving devices that it can promote to automakers.

The business introduced a robotaxi support in Guangzhou in 2019 and opened it up to members of the public final 12 months. The business is also tests an autonomous bus.

WeRide states it has clocked 5.5 million kilometers of autonomous driving examination miles with its robotaxis and robobus.

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However MoonX is an autonomous trucking enterprise, WeRide failed to confirm whether it will start out increasing into this field.

But Han reported the enterprise is “actively engaged with associates from diverse industries to prolong our scope of assistance.”

He also hinted at a new products ahead.

“MoonX’s experience will enable WeRide make a different recreation-modifying Advert (autonomous driving) product,” Han stated.

WeRide declined to comment even more when asked for additional details.