Daimler, the Stuttgart-based automotive firm that owns Mercedes-Benz, has confirmed that Geely chairperson Li Shufu has acquired 9,69% of the company, making the Chinese businessman the biggest shareholder in the German firm.

?Daimler is pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientated shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler?s innovation strength, the strategy and the future potential,? the German company said in a statement, confirming that the 54-year-old had purchased a total of 103 619 340 shares.

?Daimler knows and appreciates Li Shufu as an especially knowledgeable Chinese entrepreneur with clear vision for the future, with whom one can constructive discuss the change in the industry,? the statement added.

According to Reuters, Li Shufu paid around $9-billion for the stake, as he seeks an alliance with Daimler in the development of electric and autonomous vehicles to battle fresh rivals such as Uber, Google and Tesla.

?No current car industry player is likely to win this battle against the invaders from outside without friends. To achieve and assert technological leadership, one has to adapt a new way of thinking in terms of sharing and combining strength. My investment in Daimler reflects this vision,? Li Shufu said, according to the news agency.

Chinese automotive company Geely, of course, owns Volvo Cars and Lotus.