Alibaba inks deal with Shanghai GM to finance car purchases

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(Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd deepened its push into the automotive business on Friday, saying it had struck a partnership with Shanghai General Motors (GM) to offer online sales and financing for GM cars.

Currently, Shanghai GM’s Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands are available for sale on Alibaba’s website, and the two companies said they would collaborate by using Alibaba’s big data analysis to serve ads to prospective car buyers, offer loans and provide after-market services.

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Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, unveiled this week the creation of a new “smart living” division that would link Internet-related to various kinds of everyday products, from televisions and home appliances to cars.

Almost 50 car brands and 10,000 dealerships have partnered with Alibaba in China, the company said.

Last month, Chinese auto maker SAIC Motor Corp Ltd said it would join forces with the e-commerce company to invest 1 yuan ($161 million) in a fund to develop Internet-connected cars.