The web-search and artificial-intelligence company Baidu /zigman2/quotes/209050136/composite BIDU +1.11% , often described as China's answer to Google, has selected Geely /zigman2/quotes/207616414/delayed GELYY -6.13% /zigman2/quotes/200716015/delayed HK:175 -1.22% as its automotive-industry partner for a long-anticipated move into electric vehicles. Geely, based in Hong Kong, owns the Volvo and Lotus brands, among others. Baidu shares have surged nearly 50% in the past month and nearly 90% in the past three months as investors have awaited an update on the Beijing-based company's EV plans. "We believe that by combining Baidu's expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles and autonomous driving with Geely's expertise as a leading automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles," said Robin Li, Baidu's CEO and co-founder, in a company news release . The partnership is reportedly to take the form of a stand-alone company.