BEIJING, Feb 18 - China's search engine giantBaidu and automaker Geely have hired Mobike co-founderand former chief technology officer Xia Yiping as CEO of theirnew electric vehicle venture, according to two people withknowledge of the matter. Baidu last month announced it would set up a company withZhejiang Geely Holding Group to leverage itsintelligent driving capabilities and Geely's car manufacturingexpertise. On Thursday, Baidu CEO Robin Li said they had appointed aCEO for the venture, without disclosing the name. He also saidthey had decided on a brand and would try to launch a new EVmodel in around three years. The sources declined to be named as the information was notyet public. Baidu declined to provide immediate comment while aGeely spokesman said he was not familiar with the appointment.Xia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Xia served as Mobike's chief technology officer until thecompany was acquired by food delivery giant Meituan in2018. Prior to Mobike, he worked at Ford Motor and FiatChrysler, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mobike and its then chief competitor Ofo were the pioneersof China's bike-sharing boom, which saw them attract hundreds ofmillions in investment and deploy millions of bicycles acrossChina and abroad before the sector experienced a bust between2017 to 2018. China's bike-sharing scene is currently dominated byMeituan, Ant Group-backed Hellobike and Didi Chuxing's Qingju. REUTERS
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