Uber’s attempts to enter the incredibly lucrative Chinese market might be scuppered somewhat with the news that the country’s own ride-sharing company, Didi Kuaidi, has raised US$2bn in a new round of funding.
While Uber’s exploits and influence in many of the largest nations is well-known at this stage, the company are still attempting to crack the biggest market of all – China – where Didi Kuaidi is still officially the most-used service.
The Chinese operation is actually newer than Uber, having been formed as a partnership between two similar companies – Didi and Kuaidi – who decided to merge to fight off the might of Uber as part of a US$6bn deal back in February of this year.
According to Reuters, the Chinese company said that this latest round of funding will bring its cash reserves to a total of approximately US$3.5bn, but the company has said that this recent US$2bn raised could be increased by hundreds of millions of dollars due to what is seen as serious interest from international investors.
Among its list of new investors are Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures, who join existing investors including fellow Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent.
Market analysts now place Didi Kuaidi’s value somewhere close to US$15bn and, in an effort to counteract this, Uber has said it is looking to spend US$1bn in China to build its user base there.
Speaking of its intentions, Didi Kuaidi’s president Jean Liu said: “There are a few things we’re expanding into right now to establish our leading position in the full-service transportation platform worldwide.”
Beijing road at night image via poeloq/Flickr