Samsung invests $450M in Chinese electric car firm BYD

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Samsung invested $450 million in BYD Company Ltd., a Chinese automaker and rechargeable batteries firm. The Korean smartphone giant clearly isn’t about to let Google, Apple and Tesla have all the automotive fun.

Samsung said just last week that it was in negotiations with BYD to help improve the company’s automotive chips. But in a press release, BYD said it will initially pour Samsung’s investment into the growth of its battery production and research and development of new-energy vehicles.

Samsung is in good company with the investment, too. BYD is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns just over 9 percent of the Chinese company. The Chinese company makes everything from gas-powered cars to hybrids, electric vehicles and even solar paneling.

After purchasing this stake in BYD, let’s see if Samsung makes additional moves to secure footing in the automotive industry. Google is leading the way for self-driving testing, and Apple is reportedly working on its own autonomous car. Both companies also have infotainment software that have become default features for a wide range of auto manufacturers with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Samsung needs to play catch-up.