Mapping company Here — owned by BMW, Audi and Daimler — is going to help Chinese tech giant Baidu expand its mapping service to Europe and the rest of the world, possibly taking on Google and Apple in the process.
Here, which already powers Baidu Maps’ desktop and mobile services in South East Asia outside of China, will now support Baidu Maps in more than 150 countries worldwide.
The financial terms of the deal, which was announced on Monday, were not disclosed.
The announcement comes three months after Baidu announced significant expansion plans for Baidu Maps. At the time of the announcement, Li Dongmin, general manager of Baidu Maps, reportedly said: “This signals that we will finally transform from a Chinese map provider to a world map provider and become the Chinese brand that provides global services for mobile travel applications.”
Baidu, sometimes referred to as the “Google of China,” has a market cap of $61 billion (£51 billion). Its mapping operation, Baidu Maps, competes with Google Maps and Apple Maps and has more than 350 million active users globally, according to Here.
Here uses data collected from vehicles, cartographers, and tens of thousands of other sources to map countries worldwide. So far it has mapped around 200 countries, according to Here.
“People rely on Here to travel to new places and explore the world,” said Bruno Bourguet, SVP and head of sales and business development at Here.
“We are excited that this extended agreement with Baidu will help a growing number of travellers and tourists, particularly from China, plan their trips and find their way to more countries and places than ever before.”