Chinese firm Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) has purchased a five percent stake in Daimler.

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler confirmed the transaction in a press statement, saying it “welcomes its co-operation partner” BAIC as a “new investor”.

“We are very pleased that our long-standing partner BAIC is now a long-term investor in Daimler. This step reinforces our successful partnership and is a signal of trust in the strategy and future potential of our company,” said Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“The Chinese market is and remains a crucial pillar of our success – not only for sales, but also for our product development and production,” Källenius added.

BAIC, a Chinese state-owned company, acquired the equity interest of approximately five percent in Daimler through Investment Global, a 100 percent subsidiary.

Of course, Daimler and BAIC are linked in a long-standing "strategic partnership" that has existed since 2003. Since then, the two companies have co-operated in the production, research and development, and sale of passenger cars, vans and trucks.

In 2013, Daimler acquired an equity interest in BAIC Motor, a listed subsidiary of BAIC, and currently holds 9,55 percent of its shares. Since 2018, Daimler has also held an interest of 3,01 percent in BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology, a manufacturer of electric vehicles for China.

In February 2018, meanwhile, Geely chairperson Li Shufu acquired 9,69% of Daimler, making the Chinese businessman the biggest shareholder in the German firm. And in March 2019, Chinese automotive group Geely Holding acquired a 50 percent stake in the Smart brand from Daimler.