Tech giants zoom into carmakers' ring as digital era sinks roots deeper


From Huawei to Xiaomi, China's largest technology companies are swarming into 蜂拥而入 the electric car business.

Conviction among them他们的信念 is growing that their tech expertise will prove展示,释放 instrumental 重要作用in unlocking the vast potential of the e-car sector释放电动汽车行业的巨大潜力 against a global backdrop of vehicles virtually becoming computers on wheels.在全球机动车几乎都变成轮子上的电脑背景下

Tech firms' influx into涌入 the e-car sector is thus因此 further heating up升温 the already red-hot market where traditional auto giants such as Volkswagen as well as startups such as Tesla and China's Nio are locked in fierce competition.激烈的竞争

Globally, e-cars are changing the auto industry that had stayed 保持 basically unchanged 基本没有改变 since German engineer Karl Benz invented the vehicle 机动车 in 1885.

Now even affordable e-cars can greet 打招呼the drivers when they get in, take their voice commands and even alert 警惕them when they get sleepy.快睡着的时候

Many can have their software updated wirelessly, and some e-cars can park themselves when drivers alight 下车 and return later to pick them up 轻敲 at a tap 一下 on the phone screen.

It is these new features that have enticed 吸引 the internet and technology companies to jump on the e-car bandwagon 潮流 in the hope of 希望去... picking their slice of the pie 蛋糕的一部分 in return for their expertise in computing abilities, software and content.

"For a good smart car, the hardware is the body and the software is the soul. Without the help of the internet, car manufacturers would still follow traditional ways of thinking by replacing fuel tanks 燃料箱 with batteries," said Zhou Hongyi, founder and CEO of Qihoo 360, a Beijing-based company that makes antivirus 杀毒 software.

Zhou made the remarks in May, when Qihoo 360 announced 宣布 its partnership 伙伴关系 with Chinese startup 初创(刚升起) Nezha. It would lead Nezha's latest financing round, and become its second-largest shareholder.

"Smart cars are expected to become one of the largest players in the field of smart technology. So network security, as well as the cybersecurity 网络安全 of connected vehicles互联汽车, will inevitably 不可避免 become an important aspect of 360's future strategy," said Zhou.

The logic is shared by many household product companies jumping on the gold rush of carmaking, and sometimes even personal emulation plays a part 起了一定作用 as well.

" (Xiaomi CEO) Lei Jun is now 52 years old, one year older than me, and he is having a shot at the electric car industry. So why shan't I?" said Zhou.

Xiaomi, China's largest smartphone maker by shipments, unveiled its carmaking plan in March. Co-founder and CEO Lei called it his final startup project, saying he would lead the standalone division and the first vehicle, which can be a sedan or an SUV, is expected to hit the market in three years.

"From smartphones to smart home appliances, and smart vehicles, we would like to offer our customers better experience enabled by our technology," said Lei.