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Maps are considered a key building block for autonomous-driving systems (Photo: Here)

Here will provide map content to Baidu to help the Chinese internet company grow its mapping business outside its home market.

Here already provides content to Baidu Maps' desktop and mobile services in southeast Asia. The new agreement between the two companies covers another 150 countries worldwide.

In 2015, Here was bought by German premium carmakers Audi, BMW and Daimler from Finland's Nokia for 3.1 billion dlrs. Earlier this month, chipmaker Intel acquired a 15 pc stake in the company.

The three carmaker owners have said they are open to further broadening Here's ownership, in an effort to make the company's digital maps the de facto standard for the auto industry. Maps are seen as a key component of future autonomous-vehicle technologies.

Baidu Maps has more than 350 million users globally. The company said it is expanding its map service to primarily accommodate the growing number of Chinese visitors to Europe and elsewhere.