​Uber China's latest funding valued at $7b: Report

Uber China has raised an estimated $7 billion, revealing backers that include an airline operator, investment bank, and insurance company.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Uber's chief technology officer Travis Kalanick revealed the company's financing round in China has been valued at $7 billion.

According to Bloomberg, during a press conference on Monday, Kalanick revealed backers of the ridesharing's latest financing round included operator of China's fourth-largest airline HNA Group, China Taiping Insurance Holdings, Guangzhou Automobile Group, China's largest insurer China Life Insurance, and investment bank Citic Securities.

It is unknown how much the latest financing round will make a difference to the company's total valuation, but in May last year Uber was already being valued at $50 billion.

The latest financing raised by the company comes just after Uber's largest rival Didi Kuaidi said it completed 1.43 billion rides in 2015, a milestone that took Uber six years to reach.

The Beijing-based company that holds 87.2 percent of China's private-car hailing market raised $3 billion in September last year, with reports at the time saying the funding gave the company a $16.5 billion valuation.

Didi Kuaidi is the result of a merger that occurred in February last year between Tencent-funded mobile taxi-service app Didi Dache, and its rival Kuaidi Dache, which has been previously heavily backed by China's ecommerce giant Alibaba.

Last month, Didi Kuadi alongside fellow ridesharing services Lyft, GrabTaxi, and Ola rallied to form a partnership to tap each other's network and jointly offer services to reach almost half of the world's population in Southeast Asia, India, China, and the United States. The collaboration expands on a previous agreement formed between Lyft and Didi Kuaidi in September 2015.

In a report released earlier this week, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said that car-hailing services faced more obstacles than driving forces between 2010 and 2013. The CNNIC said this was due largely to regulatory restrictions, an undeveloped market environment, and a lack of familiarity with mobile access among the general public.

"They have good market opportunities in large and medium-sized cities ... [where] taxi capacity is relatively low and roadside parking space falls short of demand. This contributed to the user stickiness of car-hailing services to some extent," CNNIC said. It added that car-sharing apps saw high interest among large local internet companies and car rental operators.

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