China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said today it’s launching a probe into the planned merger of Didi Chuxing with Uber’s China unit. A ministry spokesperson tells Reuters that it’s due to anti-monopoly concerns about the US$35 billion tech company that will result from the merger and which will totally dominate car-hailing and taxi-booking in the China market.
China Tech News — During the late Steve Jobs’ entire tenure as chief of Apple, he never visited China. But now the company is hoping it’s not too late to the invest resources into country Jobs ignored. Chinese ride-hailing app Didi announced an important part of its latest round financing and said that Apple will invest USD1 billion in the company. This is reportedly the largest single investment received by Didi. With this investment, Apple will become a strategic investor of Didi.
ZDNet — If you still think Chinese tech companies are only about replicating the innovations that others have made, then you’ve got some catching up to do. Today’s Chinese tech sector is filled with a number of disruptive companies that are not only competing but leaping ahead in the race to build better products and use tech to solve important problems.
Forbes — In the 12 hours since Apple’s announced investment in Uber’s main Chinese rival, commentators have struggled to figure out why. Could $1 billion for Didi Chuxing show that Apple’s car-building efforts are further along than expected? Unlikely. Could the large investment be to integrate the computer maker’s new services, like Apple Music, Apple Maps, and Apple Pay into China?
Tech in Asia — China’s homegrown ride-hailing app Didi Kuaidi is now seeing 10 million rides each day, the startup said today. That’s up from six million daily rides in September. Didi connects riders with taxis, Uber-esque private cars, and even commuter shuttle buses. In Beijing and Chengdu (which Uber said last year is its top city) alone, the app “exceeded 1 million rides per day,” said a Didi statement.
Tech in Asia — Does Didi Kuaidi need more investment capital after its US$3 billion round last year? Probably not, but it’s getting some anyway. The company announced Tuesday that it has established a new partnership with China Merchants Bank (CMB). The partnership also includes a “strategic investment” from the bank in Didi, although the sum of that investment has not been disclosed.
Tech in Asia — Chinese ridesharing and taxi app Didi Kuaidi announced a pretty startling statistic today: the company completed 1.43 billion rides in 2015. That includes 200 million rides completed in December alone. Didi says that its user base now exceeds 250 million, making it “the world’s largest mobile-based transportation platform.”