Xia Yiping is the CEO of Jidu Automobile and a technological visionary who is changing the way the world views automation. An alumnus of Essex University, Yiping has made his mark in the technological and automobile industry. Here is a list of 10 things you probably did not know about him.
1. He Is the CEO of Jidu
On January 11, 2021, Baidu announced that it would be establishing a smart car company in collaboration with Geely. This company – Jidu – is independent of its parent companies and is headed by Xia Yiping. Baidu confirmed Yiping’s appointment on February 22 the same year, suddenly tossing him into the limelight. In the partnership between Baidu and Geely, the former provides in-vehicle software while the latter contributes its engineering capabilities and factories. The goal is to manufacture smart electric vehicles (EV) and compete with major Chinese brands, as well as Elon Musk’s Tesla. Xia Yiping’s appointment was announced by CEO Robin Li during Baidu’s fourth-quarter earnings call. Li did not disclose the name during this meeting, only confirming that a new EV model would be launched within three years. Many people consider Xia Yiping a wise hire thanks to his recent work with Mobike, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler, to name a few.
2. He Has a Technological Background
Xia Yiping has an extensive technological background and has held jobs in the industry for many years. He was the co-founder and chief technical officer (CTO) of Mobike and once headed the Asia-Pacific division of Fiat Chrysler. Additionally, Yiping currently holds over 20 domestic and foreign software copyright, utility model, and invention patents. His time in the United States saw him working in online navigation and voice recognition as used in intelligent vehicles. His repertoire is very extensive. Technology-wise, Yiping has worked as:
· APA SYNC team leader at Ford Motor Company
· Head of APAC Uconnect Connectivity at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
· Senior engineer for system and software development at ZTE
3. He Designed the Initial Jidu Automobile
Xia Yiping’s team is behind the initial design of the first Jidu electric automobile. On August 30, Yiping released the wind tunnel diagram of the first product on his Weibo. He had confirmed on June 1 that the team had already determined the design and was in the 3D modeling and sludge model stage. Per the company’s projections, Yiping and his team should unveil the first Jidu automobile in 2022. His main job is to design and define the automobile product further as Geely handles the manufacturing and development process. The 2022 model will be offered at over CNY 200,000.
4. He Once Worked for Ford
Primarily due to his love for cars, Yiping joined Ford in 2009. He worked for Ford North America and Ford Asia Pacific for 5 years. During this time, he helped develop and deploy AppLink (core product) and its accompanying ecosystem. He was also in charge of establishing the Division of Connected Vehicle and Services in the Asia Pacific arm and localizing the company’s smart in-vehicle system (SYNC) in China.
5. He Headed the Asia-pacific Arm of Fiat Chrysler
After his 5 years in North America, Xia Yiping returned to his home to head the Asia Pacific intelligent vehicle service at Fiat Chrysler. In his own words, “At that time, I was responsible for the products, the company’s growth and technology, and I also did a lot of system-level things such as back-end identification.” Yiping believes that his time at Fiat Chrysler played an important role in preparing him for his new job in the smart car industry.
6. He Co-Founded Mobike
You might know Yiping as the current CEO of Jidu, but he is also the former co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Mobike. Yiping established Mobike in 2015 and served as its CTO during which time the company expanded to over 19 countries in the world. Mobike is a fully station-less bike-sharing system with headquarters in Beijing, China. Users rent a bike online and can undock and ride it at a cost from dock stations in their city. By the number of bikes, Mobike is the largest shared (for hire) bike operator in the world and was responsible for making Shanghai the largest bike-share city in the world in 2016. Unfortunately, the bike-sharing market in China went on a downward spiral in 2018, and Yiping and his co-founder sold Mobike to Meituan-Dianping that year for US$2.7 billion.
7. He Is Listed in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 List
Xia Yiping has made significant strides in his industry that have not gone unnoticed. In fact, he is number 20 on Fortune’s 40 under 40 List of 2017. Yiping is noted for his innovative mindset and dedication to the craft. In an interview with Geek Park, he said of his current job, “In this transition from diesel to electric, I believe the next race in the industry is producing a truly connected and intelligent vehicle… I do believe this is where my interests and original aspirations lie.”
8. He Has Communications Experience
Before entering the technology and automobile industry, Yiping worked in the communications industry for five years. He was in charge of company aspects like marketing, product planning, communication system architecture, and software development.
9. He Has an Honorary Doctorate
Yiping studied in the UK and is a noted entrepreneur with world-class problem-solving skills. In recognition of his entrepreneurial achievements, the University of Essex awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2019.
10. He Is Highly Learned
As you might have deduced, Yiping has several areas of interest – entrepreneurship, communications, and technical engineering. He went to school for all these things, earning a B.Sc. in Communication Engineering from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 2004 and a Master of Science in Telecommunication and Information Systems from the University of Essex in 2006.
Xia Yiping is a forward-thinking and innovative technical mind with too many achievements to count. Besides being the CEO of Jidu, he has held positions in important companies like Fiat Chrysler and Ford and is behind some of the most remarkable projects in the technological industry in recent years. This includes the deployment and development of AppLink and its ecosystem.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee