HERE expands mapping services to China with Navinfo partnership

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - HERE Technologies, the digital mapping company owned by Germany’s premium carmakers said it had partnered with China’s Navinfo to offer location services in China.

HERE said it will offer routing and navigation services, as well as map display and positioning services in the world’s largest passenger car market.

NavInfo will provide Chinese mapping data which HERE will convert to its own worldwide specification to make the maps compatible with the mapping and location services offered in the rest of the world.

“Partnering with NavInfo to extend our services to China is an important step for us to offer our customers a global solution with the same high-quality standards across regions,” HERE’s Chief Technology Officer Peter Kuerpick said.

Germany’s premium automakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen’s Audi bought HERE for 2.8 billion euros ($3.18 billion) in 2015 from Finnish telecoms group Nokia. They now hold 74 percent.

The automakers wanted to avoid becoming dependent on third-party mapping providers such as Alphabet’s Google, a competitor in the race to develop self-driving cars. Chip maker Intel also holds a 15 percent stake in HERE.

Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Louise Heavens