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Chinese automotive group Zhejiang Geely Holding has purchased almost 10% of Daimler, just weeks after becoming the largest shareholder in truck manufacturer AB Volvo.

This latest move is part of a strategy by the Chinese firm to compete with technology companies such as Tesla, Google and Uber in the development of electric vehicles.

Announcing the deal, Li Shufu, Geely’s founder and main owner, said: “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.”

Li added: “In order to succeed and seize the technology highland, one has to have friends, partners, and alliances and adapt a new way of thinking in terms of sharing and united strength. And we have act now. My investment in Daimler reflects this strategic vision.”

In a statement Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, said it was “pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientated shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler’s innovation strength, strategy and future potential.”

The purchase closely follows Geely’s £2.9bn acquisition of an 8.3% stake in AB Volvo in December last year. AB Volvo owns 45% of Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, one of China’s largest truckmakers

Analysts predict Geely’s £9bn acquisition of 9.6% of Daimler could see the two automotive firms sharing electric battery technology. Geely is the third largest electric vehicle manufacturer in China.

Zhejiang Geely Holding began its global acquisition spree in 2010 with the acquisition of Volvo Cars for $1.5bn.

In 2013 the company acquired the bankrupt London Taxi International. Relaunched as the London Electric Vehicle Company the firm builds hybrid electric black cabs and is developing a hybrid electric delivery van at its Coventry factory.