Ford Partners With Baidu to Boost Market Performance in China

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. cement / ˈsɪˈmɛnt / (v) – to strengthen something

    The tech startup plans to partner with a leading company to cement its reputation in the industry.

  2. offset / ˌɔfˈset / (v) – to make up for a negative result

    Our high sales this year offset our poor performance last year.

  3. dated / ˈdeɪtəd / (adj) – out-of-date

    You should throw dated gadgets and buy new ones with more advanced features.

  4. sophisticated / səˈfɪstəˌkeɪtəd / (adj) – advanced, complex, or complicated

    The new phone has sophisticated features that we have never seen before.

  5. project / prəˈʤɛkt / (v) – to estimate

    The expenses next month is projected to be higher than this month’s figures.


Read the text below.

Ford Motor Company is collaborating with Baidu, a Chinese tech company, to produce better automated cars and cement its position in the Chinese market.

Last June, the second largest US automotive company announced that its collaboration with Baidu will integrate the Chinese giant’s technology into Ford cars. The partnership offers big opportunities for Ford to offset its losses in China earlier this year. Ford’s bad performance was partly due to the company’s lack of appeal to Chinese consumers. Additionally, Ford’s technology is dated compared to that of Chinese competitors like Geely, which outperformed Ford in 2017 in terms of sales.

With Baidu’s technology, Ford cars will have more sophisticated features. For instance, Baidu’s voice recognition technology will allow Ford car owners to interact with their vehicles. The two companies also aim to develop an integrated mobility network to provide users with access to essential information and services, such as ride-sharing.

Through the partnership, Ford and Baidu plan to use data in order to look into potential opportunities involving digital marketing. This action can help Ford gain a better understanding of the Chinese market.

Ford is not the only major US company that has teamed up with Baidu to tap into the Chinese market. Tech company Intel Corporation announced last July that it will integrate the driverless system of its subsidiary, Mobileye, into Baidu’s self-driving platform called Apollo. The system will help enhance Apollo’s safety features. For Intel, this move will allow the company to reach further into China’s automated vehicle market, which is projected to amount to over $500 billion by 2030.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were the owner of Ford, would you continue tapping into the Chinese market or would you rather pursue another market? Explain.
• If you were the owner of Baidu, would you consider Ford a good company to collaborate with? Why?

Discussion B

• If you owned a business, what foreign markets would you be interested to tap into? Why?
• What strategies would you use to tap into these foreign markets? Discuss.