The Didi Kuaidi-Uber rivalry isn’t going away anytime soon, particularly as the two ride-hailing companies vie to get top funding from investors as they both look to expand their services in China.
Multiple reports cite that Didi Kuaidi — Uber’s top Chinese competitor — is on its way to raising $3 billion. That comes at a time when Uber has confirmed that it has raised $1.4 billion in China. Didi Kuaidi’s funding gives the company a reported $16.5 billion value, but Didi Kuaidi did not confirm any specific financing details.
Uber announced in August that it was looking to raise $1 billion to be put into China, which would be at a valuation between $7 billion and $8 billion. CEO Travis Kalanick told shareholders in a letter in July that in one of Uber’s most popular cities in China, the ride-hailing company is turning out close to 1 million trips a day. That was at the same time he announced Uber’s plans to invest more in the country.
“This kind of growth is remarkable and unprecedented. To put it frankly, China represents one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber, potentially larger than the U.S. Success in China, however, takes commitment over the long haul and a strong will, coupled with a unique understanding of the differences in China,” Kalanick wrote in the letter.
Those talks came at the same time that Uber and Didi Kuaidi continue to compete for the top spot. Because of the widely untapped market for so long, the two companies are rushing to take over an industry that appears to be growing rapidly as more consumers buy into the on-demand economy and ride-booking services. The transportation service market alone has an estimated $1 trillion a year in China.