It looks as though Apple’s investment in the Chinese ride-sharing Didi Chuxing came just in time: Didi has announced today that it is acquiring its rival, Uber’s, operations in China, hence putting an end to the ongoing rivalry between the two. In other words: Uber has lost – at least in China.
As the result of the fusion, Didi will acquire all the assets of UberChina, including its brand, business operations, and data, for operations on mainland China. This landmark transaction signals a new stage in the development of China’s rideshare industry, the company announced today.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing, said, “Didi Chuxing and Uber have learned a great deal from each other over the past two years in China’s burgeoning new economy. As a technology leader deeply rooted in China, Didi Chuxing is constantly pushing the frontier of innovation to redefine the future of human mobility. This agreement with Uber will set the mobile transportation industry on a healthier, more sustainable path of growth at a higher level. Didi Chuxing commits all our energy to work with regulators, users and partners to meet the transportation, environmental and employment challenges of our cities.”
Didi founder Cheng Wei and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will join each other’s boards. And so ends a battle between two giants for Chinese customers: Uber has been spending $1 billion a year (at least) to gain ground in China, while Didi offered its own subsidies to drivers to build its business, Bloomberg notes.
People familiar with the matter say the deal increases Didi’s valuation to $35 billion.
Didi is backed by Alibaba and Tencent, China’s most valuable Internet businesses, and Apple made a surprise $1 billion investment earlier this May.