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The Chinese Ride-Hailing Startup That's Out-Ubering Uber

Discussion in 'Shanghai' started by Dreamer, Jun 30, 2015.

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  1. Dreamer

    Dreamer
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    ONE OF TECH’S fiercest rivalries is shaping up in China right now, but the leading contender isn’t a familiar name in the US. Didi Kuaidi is taking on Uber for the title of largest ride-hailing company in the world’s largest country—or more precisely, Uber appears to be trying to unseat the homegrown favorite. Uber might be in more cities worldwide, and its backers may have graced it with a higher price tag. But with investors clamoring to shower it with billions, Didi Kuaidi is poised to out-Uber Uber, at least in China.

    It’s no longer news that many of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies have some kind of counterpart in China. For Google, there’s Baidu. Instead of Twitter, China’s got Weibo. Alibaba gets compared to Amazon, and some say Xiaomi is sort of like Apple. In every case, the Chinese competitor is either credibly taking on if not outright crushing its American rival. China’s growing middle class is latching onto consumer tech in a big way, and so far it’s been domestic companies that have most successfully met that demand.

    That same pattern is playing out in the red-hot market for rides. With over 500 million smartphone owners and an established Internet-services economy in China, there’s obvious reason for companies to be chasing this market. Uber, the international behemoth, has a strong presence in the country and recently doubled down on its efforts to raise funds for its Chinese division. But Didi Kuaidi, which formed when China’s two top taxi-hailing apps, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, merged in February in a $6 billion deal, has put Uber in an unfamiliar position: runner-up.

    Didi Kuaidi: Everyone Wants In
    Most recently, as reported by Reuters, Didi Kuaidi chief executive Cheng Wei told shareholders that investors had oversubscribed in the company’s latest round of funding. That’s not uncommon in tech, except Didi Kuaidi was already trying to raise $1.5 billion. Cheng said the company may increase its fundraising target to $2 billion to accommodate the enthusiasm. Such a deal would value the company at a whopping $15 billion, including the new capital, putting it among the elite class of companies with valuations of $10 billion or more—a number that’s typically more associated with such buzzy US startups as Airbnb,Pinterest, and Snapchat.

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  2. Lidman

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    I'm not sure what the currency ratio is US dollar/chinas?? I'm certain in all this mayhem between Uber and it ciompetitor, the rates are not going to be favorable towards the drivers income.
     
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