Didi Chuxing is Uber’s Big Rival In China And They Have A Valuation To Match It
If you are not familiar with China you might not have heard of Didi Chuxing, the largest consumer transport portal in the world.
Didi Chuxing is Uber’s homegrown Chinese rival, the company came about from the joining of two Chinese car hailing applications who were initially battling for the taxi-app superiority. The two companies, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, joined forces barely a year after Uber ventured into China in 2014.
This merge was aimed at combining customer bases and pooling investments from backers of the two firms. These backers included Alibaba and Tencent who are China’s tech heavyweights and have lead the way in the development of the countries internet services.
Currently, Didi Chuxing boasts over 300 million users and over 14 million drivers spread across 400 cities in China. The company dominates both the taxi hailing and private car markets with those on its platform completing close to 1.5 billion rides last year. Didi Chuxing claims to control 80% of the total ride hailing market in China against Uber’s much smaller share of 16%.
Didi Chuxing’s CEO and chairman is the 34-year-old Cheng Wei, who says that he founded Didi Dache out of frustration. He would often miss flights or get delayed due to the unavailability of cabs. He was the mastermind behind the merging of his company with Kuaidi Dache. According to him, customers now have the opportunity to book buses or even to go for a test drive with high-end cars. Cheng initially worked for Alibaba in various roles. He studied in Beijing University of Chemical Technology. What is surprising to many is that he cannot drive.
The company’s president is the 38-year-old Jean Liu who joined Didi Dache in 2014. She was named the president of the company in 2015 just before its merge with Kuaidi Dache. Before joining Didi Dache, she worked at Goldman Sachs. She was also a board member of different companies in the farming, health, and fashion sectors. She holds a bachelor degree from Peking University and a masters from Harvard University, both in computer science. Jean Liu is the force behind the multi-billion dollar rounds of funding that have made Didi Chuxing China’s largest taxi app. Back in April Apple invested $1 billion into the firm at a $25 billion valuation, reportedly she played a crucial role in this development which will allow Didi Chuxing more leeway to keep Uber at bay in the Chinese taxi hailing market.