Chinese social media giant Tencent and automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, whose chairman has a $9 billion stake in Daimler, have won a joint bid to obtain a 49% stake in High Speed Network Technology Company, which provides WiFi and technology services to high-speed rail customers across China.
Geely and Tencent joined in the three-way joint venture to create an integrated one-stop platform that will offer mobility service to train users, according to Geely’s announcement.
China Money Network previously reported about Tencent’s bid for a stake in the railway WiFi provider in a deal worth more than RMB3.05 billion (USD 485 million).
Established in December 2017, High Speed Network is a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Corporation. The equity offering was part of a new policy to reform state-owned enterprises through mixed ownership structures of state owned and private enterprises.
Geely and Tencent will collaborate to increase the number of WiFi hotspots and create a platform offering value-added services throughout the high-speed rail network. The new platform is part of a wider move towards creating a smart and intelligent transportation network across China, the company said. It will offer ticket services, shopping, tourism and catering services based on the jointly developed WiFi Platform.
High-speed rail has become an important means of transportation in China. In 2017, the number of high-speed railway passengers exceeded 1.7 billion. With the continued development of high-speed rail infrastructure, passengers have increasingly pushed for better services, including stable, high-speed, and comprehensive mobile network services.
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