BMW has established a new R&D joint venture with China's 'ArcherMind Technology' for the development of on-board software for its vehicles sold in the Chinese market, according to local reports.

ArcherMind, headquartered in Nanjing in China's Jiangsu province, describes itself as "focused on providing technology R&D for smart phones, intelligent cars, chip&OS, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and mobile internet". The company caters for growing local demand for digital and connected services in China.

The new CNY50m (US$7.6m) joint venture is expected to play a key role in the development of digital and connected services in the country for the German automaker.

Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said he expects the joint venture will become a "cornerstone of its digitalization strategy in China, with a focus on providing in-car digital features".

MrGoller added "we consider China to be the worldwide frontrunner in digital innovations and this new initiative underscores once again our strong commitment to further invest in China and to expand our local footprint leveraging China's strength in innovation".

In October 2020 BMW established a partnership with Chinese internet giant Alibaba to help it "digitalise its full business process", providing customers with online services ranging from buying cars and accessing finance to a full range of aftermarket services.

BMW sales in China rose by 6.4% to 560,367 vehicles in the first nine months of 2020, including models sold under the BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini brands.