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Toyota to invest $600 million in China's Didi, new JV

FILE PHOTO: A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show

BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it will invest $600 million in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and a new joint venture to expand collaboration with the firm in China.

The move accelerates a trend in China which has seen automakers launch their own ride-hailing services, and ride-hailing firms such as Didi team with automakers to develop purpose-built cars for their services.

The Japanese carmaker said the new joint venture would include Toyota's Chinese partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC), and would see the companies combining services and technologies.

The collaboration utilised Toyota's connected technologies and next-generation battery electric vehicles, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama said.

Toyota, which has said it aims to get half of its global sales from electrified vehicles by 2025, has tapped Chinese battery makers including Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) and BYD Co Ltd to aid it in the shift to electricity-powered cars.

Didi has also set up ventures with Volkswagen and BAIC's new-energy vehicle unit.

Sources told Reuters in June that Didi was in talks with Nissan Motor Co and its China partner, Dongfeng Group, to form another fleet-management venture.

Toyota and Didi have previously collaborated on other vehicle projects and services for Didi drivers.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates)