Uber wants to overtake China's Didi next year
Being second to a well-funded homegrown rival isn’t diminishing Uber’s eagerness to win the China market, a top Uber executive explained today.
Zhen Liu, Uber’s director of China strategy, responded with optimism to a question onstage at a tech conference about when Uber will surpass Didi Chuxing. “I hope next year,” she said. “This time next year?” prodded the session host. “Yes!” smiled Liu.
“When you look at the growth we have – market share growth from one percent to one-third – and the efficiency we have achieved, our business is in a greater than ever position to continue rapid growth,” added the Beijing-based exec.
She’s a graduate of a Beijing law school who then moved to UC Berkeley School of Law. After that she spent a decade working as a lawyer in Silicon Valley.
Uber is battling Didi, which has billions of dollars of its own in funding – including a billion from Apple. Didi covers not just UberX and UberBlack style rides, but also conventional taxis, carpooling, and even private buses.
Liu, speaking at WSJ Converge in Hong Kong, explained how Uber is taking a very different and heavily localized approach in China to ensure it’s doing things right – including forming the Uber China subsidiary company which can raise its own funding separate from San Francisco HQ.
Liu’s comments came hours after Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu – they’re actually cousins; small world, huh – said the Chinese startup is working on a funding round that will top the US$3.5 billion that Uber pocketed yesterday.
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