Uber's Chinese Rival Still Dominates Local Market, Wants to Expand

Uber might be a popular ride-hailing app in some places of the world, but it is not number one in the largest transport market on the Globe, China.
Didi Kuaidi app 1 photo
Photo: Simon Song
In fact, Uber’s Chinese competitor holds a massive part of the ride-on request services and has a name you’ve probably never heard: Didi Kuaidi.

The name comes from the merger of two rival services in China that battled it out in a price war and decided it was best to dominate the market together.

While Uber China is valued at $8-10 billion, Didi Kuaidi has an estimated value of $20 billion according to an insider quoted by Bloomberg. So, why is this so important to us? Because Didi Kuaidi does not settle for Chinese domination of the ride-hailing market, but wants to give Uber a run for its money.

The Chinese company reportedly just received commitments for another billion dollars in a recent fundraising round. Company officials have refused to comment the issue, but it appears that the Chinese market leader on smartphone-hailed taxis wants to enter other markets.

According to Bloomberg, Didi Kuaidi wants to take on Uber with the help of rival services like Lyft (USA) and Ola (India). It is unclear whether the service will use the same name in all markets it wants to enter, a strong move concerning branding, or if it will resort to different names for some regions. We must note that Didi Kuaidi is not as catchy as Uber, and surely not as easy to spell or pronounce.

This is not Uber’s first competitor, but it might be the best-funded rival Uber has ever encountered. The significant difference between Uber and Didi Kuaidi lies in the fact that the second sticks to hailing registered taxi operators, along with premium cars and designated drivers. Uber’s business model is under fire in many countries, as its strategy focuses on private vehicles and threatens traditional taxi operators and eludes taxes in some states.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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