While it is hard to say who out of Uber China and Didi Kuaidi will take the crown of being the Chinese public’s favorite taxi hailing service, a pretty spectacular thing on display as of now, is the truly staggering amount of monies that is being marshalled by both the sides in order to gain an edge over the other.
According to reports that have just come in, Uber and its Chinese counterpart Didi-Kuaidi, have together raised combined total of $4.2 billion.
Uber founder Travis Kalanick, recently told Chinese news website Sina.com that Uber China has managed to collect $1.2 billion as part of an ongoing fundraising round.
On the other hand, we have Bloomberg, according to which, Didi Kuaidi has closed in an even more impressive $3 billion round at a goliathically (just had to invent some word for this thing) staggering $16.5 billion valuation. What’s more, it wasn’t sure — as neither are we — if $3 Billion is actually the total amount in Didi’s Kitty or — a more ominous thought for Uber China — if it was in addition to the $2 billion the company raised previously, in July.
Well, competition certainly seems coming to a head as both the giants strain to bow the other out of China, one of the biggest marketplaces for taxi hailing services on account of its massive population, The competition is no longer just limited to raising money either, but is spilling into other spheres too.
Recently, China’s most popular messaging platform WeChat blocked Uber from using its services for its own end — a move that is bound to hurt Uber. We don’t have to look too far for inspiration either as Tencent, which owns WeChat, also happens to be an investor in Didi.
The Chinese Police too, has recently cracked own on Taxi-hailing services, going as far as to banning them in several cities. The move has specially affected business for Uber, Didi Kuaidi and China’s Yongche, all three of which sent executives to a meeting held by Shenzhen’s municipal transport committee — the latest city to ban these services. The committee has cited the fact that these apps were hurting other drivers, stating that they have,
Changed the market and dropped their (Regular, licensed driver’s) daily income to 123 yuan (US$19.32) on an average.
private drivers working for the apps are engaged in illegal transport activities and reaping illicit profits.
Using taxi hailing services to boost income an illegal transport activity? Well, that’s certainly an interesting notion. However, Uber China is the subject of a much serious investigations, after a Uber driver reportedly robbed and assaulted a female passenger in the city of Chengdu on the 5th of August.
The other service providers in the field have been hit too, with the Chinese capital declaring Didi Kuaidi’s Didi Kuaiche and Didi Zhuanche services illegal in June.