Don't Call It a Car: China Tech Giants Want to Sell 'Mobile Living Spaces'

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology 

These three companies--the so-called BATs--are plowing millions of dollars into electric-vehicle startups, car-sharing services and online retailers, as well as software platforms for autonomous driving and online car selling. U.S. tech companies, notably Alphabet Inc. and its self-driving car unit Waymo, also are pushing into the auto sector. But the BAT companies have a big advantage in China, where tight government internet controls make it difficult for foreign enterprises to compete. For example, non-Chinese companies aren't allowed to operate digital mapping systems needed for autonomous driving. That has prompted both foreign and domestic auto companies like Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, SAIC Motor Corp. and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. to seal tech partnerships with the BAT firms.

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