Didi Chuxing is often referred to as the “Uber of China,” but Didi Chuxing in fact crushes Uber and other competitors in the Chinese market.
It is a Chinese transportation network company headquartered in Beijing which provides vehicles and taxis for hire in China via smartphone applications; it virtually owns China’s taxi-hailing market with a 99 percent market share, according to its own numbers, and an 87 percent market share when it comes to hailing private cars. It operates in over 400 cities across the country versus UberChina’s 45 cities. Didi also offers services with buses and even has an option to book chauffeurs — which can be useful if one has had too much to drink and needs a designated driver to take both the car and car owner home.
Didi is working toward an initial public offering in the United States that would likely take place in 2018, the Apple Inc-backed firm is valued at around $25 billion and its stock market listing would be the most high-profile by a Chinese company in the United States since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (BABA.N) IPO two years ago.
Didi is currently seeking to raise $3 billion from investors in its latest funding round, which includes an investment of $1 billion from Apple (AAPL.O). It had originally planned to raise $2 billion, but hiked its target after Apple’s investment, the person added.
Company President Jean Liu met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Beijing on Monday.
The company has raised about $6.3 billion including funding rounds before and after it became a merged company, according to research firm CB Insights; So what does Didi Chuxing do with the money they have raised? Didi told Bloomberg in April it wants to invest in artificial intelligence to make the system smarter in matching cars with customers.
Both Didi and Uber’s [UBER.UL] Chinese arm have been spending heavily to subsidize rides and gain market share, increasing the need for them to seek new funding.
Didi completes more than 11 million rides a day, according to the company. Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook said the investment in Didi would help the U.S. firm better understand the critical Chinese market.