(Jidu Auto CEO Xia Yiping. Source: Baidu)

Jidu Auto, the car-making unit of Chinese search engine and AI giant Baidu, plans to expand its team size to 2,500-3,000 people by the end of next year, including 400-500 software engineers.

Jidu Auto CEO Xia Yiping revealed the plan during an exchange with media on Friday, saying the core team for the business is now in place with about 100 people, with R&D staff in both Beijing and Shanghai.

Xia said the thing he has been thinking about most in the past three months is how to drive the Jidu Auto "big ship" well, and the priority is team recruitment.

Jidu Auto has recruited people from all walks of life, including a large portion from the Internet and consumer electronics industries, in addition to traditional car manufacturers.

Xia said he wanted to maximize the mix of talent from all industries to make Jidu Auto a fully digital company.

Xia is also working with the management team to improve the organizational structure of Jidu Auto. "The competition in the next 5-10 years is not only focused on talent, but also on organizational structure," he said.

Currently, Jidu Auto's marketing, operations, engineering, R&D team building, as well as the cooperation with and Baidu Apollo team to build cars are all steadily underway, according to Xia.

As CnEVPost previously reported, Xia also said that Jidu Auto expects to invest RMB 50 billion ($7.7 billion) in car building over the next five years.

Jidu Auto will soon raise its next round of funding, with Baidu as the initial shareholder continuing to invest, as well as accepting outside financing, he said.

Jidu Auto is expected to unveil its electric cars at next year's auto show. The cars will have L4 self-driving capabilities, but whether they release their full capabilities is subject to future regulations, he said.

Every 1-1.5 years in the future, Jidu Auto will introduce a new model, Xia said.

Jidu Auto, Baidu's car-making arm, plans to invest about $8 billion in smart cars over next five years

With Jidu Auto's business in full swing, it's foreseeable that the competition for talent in China's auto industry will intensify.

Building cars is a business that needs to burn money, with labor costs taking up a large portion of that.

, , Motors, and China offered an average monthly salary of RMB 15,367 in this year's hiring, up 21.6 percent from a year ago, according to a report released Tuesday by job site Boss Zhipin.

So far this year, the number of these companies recruiting, the attention of job seekers continue to climb. Among them, autonomous driving research and development, intelligent cockpit design, software engineers, sales, user operations, and other positions have increased by more than 1.8 times year-on-year demand, the report said.

With the rise in recruitment demand, the industry's salary level has also risen significantly, especially for some positions related to autonomous driving algorithms, where annual salaries can even reach more than a million, according to the report.

With the entry of Internet industry giants including Baidu and , the new car makers need to build their core strengths and therefore have high demand for hiring talent in R&D, operations, sales, and service positions.

NIO recruitment for smart cockpit recommendation algorithm development positions offers a salary range of RMB 26,000 - 50,000 yuan, while the chief system architect for intelligent human-computer interaction earns as much as RMB 80,000 - 110,000 yuan per month, according to the report.

The talent shortage has become the biggest factor limiting the development of the smart car industry, and in the next 4-5 years, the talent gap will reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of quantitative levels, according to Boss Zhipin's report.

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