China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco Group) and e-commerce giant Alibaba have set up a joint firm to provide location-based services using China's Beidou navigation system.
The Shanghai-based firm has 2 billion yuan (about 310 million U.S. dollars) in registered capital, with the two companies both holding a 50-percent share, according to Norinco Group.
The joint venture plans to offer location-based services and solutions to businesses using the country's Beidou Navigation Satellite system and online networks.
Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper, the Beidou project was formally launched in 1994, some 20 years after the inception of GPS.
Beidou is currently one of four dominant navigation systems worldwide, along with the United States' GPS, Russia's GLONASS, and the European Union's Galileo. Norinco Group is the company authorized for research and application of the system.