In a market dominated by two local powerhouses, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, California-based Uber Technologies still believes it can expand its ride-sharing services, and the latest move according to an investor is to partner with another local firm – Dida Pinche.
Andy Zhang, chief financial officer of Bitauto Holdings Ltd, a Dida investor, told Reuters he had previously met with Uber chief executive officer Travis Kalanick in Beijing to negotiate a possible investment or partnership. The market in China for mobile ride-hailing services has become a swiftly growing venue, but so far Didi and Kuaidi have come to reach a near monopoly position and also last month announced they would join forces in a $6 billion deal. If Uber invests in Dida the US-based company could have a second way of reaching the market – even though ridesharing apps have also had a trouble birth in China. Regulators in Beijing emulated other officials in cities across the globe in deeming such apps illegal – claiming they have drivers earning revenue form other people without gaining first the proper commercial licenses.
In China the rapidly emerging market for such services still attracted local Internet giants Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Dida for now has refrained from collecting revenue – skipping the regulatory issues – unlike Didi, Kuaidi and Uber, but still aims to do so in the future. At the moment, the application finds and matches rivers and passengers so they share expenses such as fuel and parking, halving the costs of a regular cab. Dida CEO George Song so far said it was mulling a third round of investment after previously attracting $10 million in the first share offer and this year ended another one spearheaded by Bitauto, a car sales platform.