Ford and Alibaba have teamed up to create digital products

Helen Cahill
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The two companies are hoping to redefine car ownership (Source: Getty)

Retail giant Alibaba Group announced today that it is collaborating with Ford to create new digital products for the automotive industry.

As part of a three-year agreement, the two firms will work on changing the car industry in China, and beyond.

Alibaba said it hopes to gain from Ford's knowledge of the automotive industry, and will be lending the car giant its expertise in cloud computing, data and the so-called "Internet of Things".

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The two companies are hoping to create new digital products for consumers, and say that various parts of the industry could be explored, including test drives, leasing options and pre-sales.

Mobile technology could also be used to enhance marketing and distribution of cars and related products, Alibaba said today.

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"Our data-driven technology and platform will expand the definition of car ownership beyond just having a mode of transportation and into a new medium for smart lifestyle," said Daniel Zhang, chief executive of Alibaba Group.

Jim Hackett, Ford's president and chief executive, said: "China is one of the world's largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers' online and offline experiences converging rapidly.

"Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionise consumers' mobility experiences."

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