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General Motors has made its first investment in a Chinese car-sharing start up, as its attempt to reshape itself as a mobility solutions company spreads around the globe, Reuters reports. The US carmaker declined to reveal the size of its investment in Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology Co Ltd, which had developed a car rental and car-sharing app called Feezu.

“This cooperation is very important to our company to explore ride-sharing market in China. It is GM’s first investment in a start-up in China related to urban mobility,” a GM spokeswoman told the international news agency. Yi Wei Xing did not respond to requests for comment.

GM is “looking at our footprint in China and opportunities there, and Yi Wei Xing is a step in that direction,” said Vijay Iyer, GM spokesman for its Maven car-sharing service in the US “How that will ultimately show itself in a service perspective is in the exploration phase. We are now purchasing technology in that market to be able to deliver ride-sharing experiences and we’ll take it from there,” he added.

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The car landscape has evolved, and recent inventions such as ride hailing and car sharing pose a threat to the traditional model of car ownership that manufacturers depend on. This is why we’ve lately seen GM and its peers reach out to team up with tech companies.

Earlier this year, GM made a US$500 million (RM2.1 billion) investment in US ride-hailing company Lyft, while Toyota partnered with Uber and Volkswagen tied up with Israel-based car-hailing firm Gett. Yi Wei Xing’s Feezu (which Chinese name translates to “micro car rental”) isn’t in the same category though. It allows users to rent vehicles and self-drive for as little as 10 minutes.

GM’s Iyer added that it was premature to say whether the company’s Maven car-sharing service would be involved with Feezu, which GM wanted to work with because it already has a presence in the world’s biggest automobile market. GM launched Maven in the US in January.