Chinese corporate behemoths Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc will set up branches in China's Xiongan New Area.
They are among the first group of 48 companies that have been approved to set up in the new economic area. The move is part of the government's endeavor to expedite the construction of the area in Hebei province.
The new area was announced earlier this year. The project aims to relieve the pressure of population on Beijing and build another economic powerhouse along the lines of those built near Shenzhen and Shanghai.
Alibaba announced on Sept 29 that it will set up three subsidiaries in Xiongan with a total registered capital of 160 million yuan ($24 million; 20 million euros; ¡ê18 million).
Ren Geng, general manager responsible for Alibaba's business in Xiongan, says: "We will cooperate with the Xiongan New Area mainly in artificial intelligence, fintech and intelligent logistics to add a smart 'brain' to Xiongan to help it function in a well-rounded way." According to the administrative committee of Xiongan, among the 48 enterprises in the first group to set up in the area, 14 will focus on information technology, 15 on financial services and seven on high-end technology.
Xiongan will be built as an eco-friendly smart city. Four key business segments - environmental protection, traffic sensors, large data analysis and artificial intelligence - are to be its driving forces.
Internet-based business player Tencent also set up a subsidiary on Sept 26 in the new area with a registered capital of 20 million yuan, according to Tianyancha, an enterprise data query system.
The affiliate, in which Shenzhen-based Tencent holds a 90 percent stake, will provide such services as software and hardware design, data processing and storage.
"As the first group of internet-based companies entering the Xiongan New Area, Tencent will help promote its development with our rich experience in smart city, smart transportation and the internet of things," says a Tencent executive.
Half of the first group of 48 companies are from Beijing, while 13 are based in Shenzhen. Additionally, 19 companies are central SOEs, while 21 are private enterprises.
Among the private companies are Jingdong Finance, 360 Qihoo, Shenzhen Kuang-Chi, China Telecom and People's Insurance Co of China.
He Wei contributed to this story.
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