Accenture makes acquisition in China's connected car segment

21 October 2019 4 min. read

Accenture has bought FutureMove Automotive – a Chinese company specialised in vehicle connectivity software and services.

Another week, another acquisition. Or, why not two. Accenture’s seemingly boundless buying spree since its announcement of a $1.8 billion war-chest back in 2017 hasn’t showed any signs of slowing since. But the tech consulting and services giant – now bringing in global revenues of above $43 billion– hasn’t made a full purchase in China since it picked up digital marketing agency HO Communication in May last year.

Yet, with the firm making moves in the country – including a minority investment into Chinese AI computer vision developer Malong Technologies and the launch of an innovation lab in in Shenzhen – that relative M&A inactivity in the local market was never going to last. Last week, the firm announced the intended purchase of FutureMove Automotive (for an undisclosed sum), a Beijing-based provider of software and cloud solutions for vehicular connectivity.

One the striking elements of Accenture’s buying bonanza, beyond the sheer volume, is the diversity of targets, including, just lately, in various parts of the world, financial services consultancy Parker Fitzgerald, utilities tech and security firm Bridge Energy Group, and pharmaceuticals advisory Enterprise System Partners. While the majority of the acquisitions have been in the evolving digital marketing space however, there’s no denying the future market for connected commuting.

Accenture makes acquisition in China's connected car segment

As well as being the world’s largest automotive market, China is also now out in front globally for autonomous vehicle disruption, while its citizens are the keenest for the advent of hands-free driving – eager for the additional time to work and relax. This amounts to a connectivity demand which is projected to drive market revenue growth at a rate of 16.5 percent in the coming years, with 73 million connected cars expected to be on local roads by 2025.

Citing the merging of four trends – internet connectivity, autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification – Accenture’s Greater China chairman Wei Zhu said of the deal; “China’s consumer travel market is undergoing profound changes. It will completely reshape the existing industry landscape. Therefore, digital services such as smart networking and mobile travel are crucial to the future business model and growth of auto companies.”

Today with over 320 employees across offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanchang and Chengdu, FutureMove Auto was founded in 2015 by current CEO John Wang – who will become a senior director at Accenture and continue to lead the business following completion – with its parent FutureMove Technologies established by Wang together with COO Dong Cai and EVP Gaozeng Fan; a former decade-long director at Accenture.

“I am very pleased to join the Accenture family,” Wang, who was previously the head of Microsoft’s connected car business in Chin, said. “As a provider of automotive networking digital and mobile travel service solutions, we are committed to bringing users a ‘smart car as a service’ experience. The combination of Accenture’s deep industry and strong digital services can help us fully grasp the huge market opportunities in China’s for smart car products and services.”