Toyota and Geely are discussing cooperating on hybrid drivetrain technology, although it is not clear how far or how wide the relationship will stretch.
Although Toyota refused to elaborate on the discussions, it stated it is conducting these talks in accordance with its "open policy", which applies to "the area of electrification technologies" and other spheres.
A source told the news service this line of communication relates to a Chinese supplier of battery technology, which both companies use. Reports in the Chinese media suggest an announcement will be made soon.
Thanks to the Prius and more recent adoption of hybrid technology throughout many model lines, Toyota is the global sales leader in the petrol-electric field.
As a result of having two local manufacturing partners, Toyota has offered both the Corolla Hybrid and the almost-identical Levin Hybrid in the Middle Kingdom since 2015. It plans on selling plug-in hybrid versions of the next-generation sedan.
Last month, Reuters reported Toyota has begun increasing capacity its Chinese factories by 20 per cent, and will also expand its sales network there.