Fast Facts

  • Didi Chuxing, formerly Didi Kuaidi, is China's version of Uber
  • It provides taxis for hire in China via smartphone applications
  • Didi Chuxing is valued, as of June 2016, at approximately $26bn
  • Didi Chuxing holds approximately 55 percent of the taxi-hailing market
  • It is estimated to be used by 150 million people

Didi Chuxing, the transportation company which competes with Uber in the Chinese market, has added to intensifying rivalry in the ride-sharing business by announcing that it has raised $7.3bn from investors.

Investors in the latest financing round include Apple and China Life Insurance, Didi Chuxing said on Wednesday.

The total includes a $1bn investment by Apple that makes the US company a strategic investor, alongside Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce company, and Tencent Holdings, an online games and entertainment service.

China's ride-sharing industry has grown rapidly, with competitors spending heavily to subsidise rides to capture market share.

Didi Chuxing, previously Didi Kuaidi, operates in about 400 Chinese cities. It said the company completed 1.4 billion rides in 2015.

In September, the company and Lyft of the US agreed to link their services to allow travellers to use them in each others' markets. In December, their alliance added India's Ola and Southeast Asia's GrabTaxi.

Didi Chuxing described the latest investment as one of the world's largest private equity funding rounds.

The total includes $4.5bn in equity from Apple, China Life, China's Ant Financial and others, a syndicated loan arranged by China Merchants Bank for up to $2.5bn and a 2bn yuan ($300m) investment by China Life in long-term debt, the company said.

It said the investment raises the amount of cash the company has to $10.5bn.

The proceeds will go to technology upgrading, big data research and operations and exploration of new lines of business, Didi Chuxing said.

Source: AP