Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. made public on Thursday their respective plans to step up cooperation with Chinese IT giants, mainly over the use of artificial intelligence in their vehicles to boost the appeal for potential local customers.

Toyota announced an agreement to team up with Tencent Holdings Ltd., while Nissan revealed a plan to seek an alliance with Baidu Inc. at the Beijing motor show, which opened the same day.

Hiroki Nakajima, a vice president of Toyota, said during a presentation that Tencent has offered cooperation in fields such as AI and big data, and the Japanese automaker will release a vehicle that mounts services to be jointly developed by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Nissan said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the major Chinese internet search company Baidu.

Makoto Uchida, president of the Japanese automaker, said, "We'll further enhance localization to make ourselves more competitive" in the Chinese market, where new electric cars and smart vehicles are being developed at a rapid pace.

Nissan plans to begin exporting vehicles manufactured in China in 2025, with an annual target of 100,000 units in the future, Uchida said.


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