Just a few hours after we got to hear from Uber, that it has raised a massive $1.2 Billion for its Chinese operations, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has got another announcement to make. Kalanick says, that his cab-haling app is planning to enter as many as 100 cities in China within next year.
Uber’s China unit currently operates in almost 20 cities, Kalanick said at an event in Beijing held by Uber investor Baidu Inc. This fresh announcement holds even more significance, considering the fact that Uber’s fiercest rival — Didi Kuaidi — has reportedly also raised a massive $3 Billion in fresh funding.
With its biggest ever expansion yet, China will overtake India as Uber’s largest market outside the US — in terms of number of cities it operates in.
These massive war chests which both Uber and Didi Kuaidi are amassing, are primarily targeted towards providing huge ride subsidies in order to gain a larger pie of the market share. In fact, Uber has been faring pretty well in both China and India — its two largest markets globally — as riders are reportedly praising Uber for a much better riding experience as compared to Didi Kuaidi in China or Ola in India.
Talking about his company’s China strategy in the coming future, Kalanick said,
When we started this year, we were about one percent market share. Today, nine months later, we’re looking at about 30 to 35 percent market share.
Uber further said, that it is ready to comply with Government policies within China, which have been pretty much blamed for being to stringent for foreign companies.
The announcement came in an event where Baidu unveiled its own voice-operated artificial intelligence smartphone assistant for finding nearby offline services.
In fact, if you take a look at how carefully Kalanick framed his statements, you’d pretty much get a feel of how Travis and Uber are trying to lure Chinese Government by saying things along China’s ruling communist party lines.
Progress is something we see the government be incredibly open to, whether it be about more jobs and less pollution, less congestion on the streets, better utilization of infrastructure, that kind of progress always has to be in harmony with stability and that is one of the big things that we partnered with the government on,