Business World

Saturday 22 July 2017

Ride-sharing battle over as Chinese giant to buy into Uber

Uber Photo: Reuters
Uber Photo: Reuters

Eric Newcomer

Didi Chuxing, the dominant ride-hailing service in China, said it will buy Uber's operations in the country, ending a battle that has cost the two companies billions as they competed for customers and drivers.

Didi will buy Uber's brand, business and data in the country, the Chinese company said in a statement.

Uber will receive 5.89pc of the combined company with preferred equity interest equal to 17.7pc of the economic benefits.

Uber China's other shareholders, including search giant Baidu , will get 2.3pc of the economic interest in Didi Chuxing. Didi founder Cheng Wei and Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick will join each other's boards.

The truce brings to an end a bruising battle between the two companies for leadership in China's fast-growing ride-hailing market. Uber has been spending at least $1bn year to gain ground in China, while Didi has been offering its own subsidies to drivers and riders to build its business.

"Didi Chuxing and Uber have learned a great deal from each other over the past two years," said Cheng, who is also ceo.

"This agreement with Uber will set the mobile transportation industry on a healthier, more sustainable path of growth at a higher level."

The valuation of the combined business will be $35bn, sources said.

Last year, China's ride-hailing leaders Didi and Kuaidi joined forces, creating a home-grown juggernaut to fight off Uber.

The merged company Didi Chuxing brought together backers Alibaba and Tencent Holdings, the country's most valuable internet businesses. Apple joined in this year with a $1bn investment in Didi. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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