T3, which is short for “top 3”, officially launched after a dozen entities, including three major automakers, agreed to lay out a total of 9.76 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) for the joint venture following an initial agreement in July, according to an announcement released last week.
The big pile of cash will go towards “car-sharing services powered by renewable energy,” an offering that nicely aligns with Beijing’s push to electrify the transportation sector. T3’s investor list is also stellar, with the participation of three state-owned Chinese carmakers and the country’s largest internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent.
The marriage of private and state-owned players comes as China works to attract more private money into the clunky state sector to breathe innovation and efficiency into the latter, an effort dubbed the “mixed reform”. T3 will be purely-market driven, with a mission to build what it calls a “smart mobility ecosystem” by combining the data capability of its technology partners with the manufacturing know-how of its automakers, said the announcement.