Fri, Dec 22, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Didi raises US$4bn to fund global turf war with Uber

AFP, SHANGHAI

Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) yesterday said it had raised US$4 billion from investors, months after a funding round that made it Asia’s most valuable start-up, as the company presses on with a global battle with US giant Uber Technologies Inc.

Local and foreign groups contributed to the huge pot, which is to be used to fuel Didi’s global expansion, and support new developments in artificial intelligence and new energy vehicles, the company said in a statement.

Didi, which bought Uber’s China operations last year, has nearly half a billion users around the world and handles up to 25 million rides per day.

It is to see its valuation rise to US$56 billion, sources close to the matter said.

The company became Asia’s most valuable start-up in April with a valuation of US$50 billion after its previous round of fundraising.

Uber and Didi have been fighting a global turf war since Didi bought out the US firm’s China operations.

Didi has been battling for international market share with Uber by working with local firms including Southeast Asia’s Grab, India’s Ola, US-based Lyft Inc and Europe’s Taxify.

Bloomberg News reported in October that Didi was also in talks with Japanese taxi operator Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo Co Ltd to provide ride-sharing services for Chinese tourists in Japan.

Japanese telecoms giant Softbank Group Corp, which already has stakes in the Chinese firm, is among the backers in the latest fundraising round along with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital, the sources said.

More than 260,000 electric vehicles are running on Didi’s network now, the firm’s chief executive Cheng Wei (程維) said last month.

The firm has also set up a joint venture to build its own charging networks, Cheng added.

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