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Didi Chuxing closes $5.5b funding round

Valuation of China's ridesharing giant Didi is reportedly to exceed $50 billion, making it one of the world's most valuable startups.

Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing confirmed its latest funding round of $5.5 billion at the weekend. The record funding round is said to value the company at more than $50 billion, up from Didi's last valuation of $34 billion when it acquired Uber's China assets last year, according to a Sina news report.

Didi's value is also getting close to its major competitor in the ride-hailing industry, Uber, whose current valuation stands at $69 billion.

The latest financing, which is believed to be Didi's G-round funding, will be utilized to "support its global strategy and continued investments in AI-based technologies", Didi said in a statement.

The Chinese company didn't reveal who was among the latest batch of investors, although the report named Bank of Communications, SoftBank, and Silver Lake.

Didi is also getting closer to an initial public offering according to an earlier report, citing internal documents that reportedly reveal Didi was planning a listing in the US in 2018.

Founded in 2012, Didi has become the dominant player in the Chinese car-hailing market after its merger with Uber China in 2016, which currently owns nearly 90 percent of the market share.

Despite the Chinese government unveiling stringent rules to regulate the private-car hailing market in the country, Didi remains attractive to investors. Official data shows that registered users and drivers on the Didi platform exceeded 400 million and 17.5 million respectively, covering 400 cities in China.

Didi plans to extend services to 3,000 cities and counties in China this year, with daily orders exceeding 20 million.

The company is backed by over a hundred big-name investors including Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings, as well as Apple Inc.