SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor has partnered with Chinese technology group Tencent Holdings in telematics, an area that covers safety and entertainment systems for connected cars, people familiar with South Korean automaker's plans said on April 9.
The partnership will likely focus on entertainment, such as music streaming, Hyundai sources said. Kia Motors, a member of the Hyundai Motor group, is already working with Tencent to stream music to autos.
Hyundai has fallen behind the competition in the field and likely seeks to close the gap by incorporating Tencent's know-how into vehicle development.
The carmaker has had no notable partners in the field except Chinese internet search leader Baidu, with which it works on navigation and voice recognition.
Tencent's group spans leading Chinese social network WeChat, a related digital payment service, and streaming music apps, as well as investments in numerous tech startups.
The automaker has denied news reports that it will jointly develop self-driving software with Tencent. It would not disclose details of the partnership.
The tie-up is likely also intended to improve Hyundai's image among Chinese government officials and consumers.
The carmaker's sales have slumped in the world's largest auto market following the 2017 deployment of a U.S.-developed missile shield in South Korea -- a move strongly protested by Beijing. It is now considering streamlining production in China.