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China 30% of Uber's operations, CEO Kalanick won't go public yet

10/23/2015| 5:32:16 PM| 中文

For Kalanick, what’s on his mind these days is the red-hot growth in China, where Uber has grown from a 1% market share in January to 30% today, he said.

Don’t look for ride-hailing app company Uber to file for an IPO anytime soon.

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D LIVE conference here, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said it  is way too early to go public.

Uber China's website

 

Even acknowledging that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has urged him to file papers and start the process, “we’re in junior high, and people are telling us to go to the prom,” Kalanick said. “Give us some time. When the time is right, something like that will happen. It’s just too early in the cycle.”

Uber is considered the world’s most valuable tech start-up, worth $50 billion. Uber investor Chris Sacca recently told USA TODAY he believes Uber will one day be worth more than even Facebook’s current $250 billion.

For Kalanick, what’s on his mind these days is the red-hot growth in China, where Uber has grown from a 1% market share in January to 30% today, he said.

China currently represents 30% of all Uber trips worldwide, and 5 of Uber’s top cities are in China, he said.

“We are seeing explosive growth.”

Kalanick said Uber has invested $1 billion getting its business in China off the ground, and that he’s seeing great examples of tech innovation in China.

“In the next 5 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bejing is giving the Silicon Valley a run for innovation. That’s where the action is going to be.”

Kalanick was asked why Uber is expanding from rides to new services like UberRUSH, a delivery service that looks to take on FedEx in a handful of cities, and Uber Eats, a new on-demand food delivery service.

“The way we look at it, Uber is in the business of delivering cars in five minutes,” he said. “If I could push a button and my lunch comes to me, that’s exciting. If I can push a button, and a package can be delivered in 5 minutes, that’s interesting. Our cars are doing more than just moving people.”

Finally, Kalanick peered into the future of driverless cars, and how it might affect Uber.

With 30,000 people dying every year in automobile accidents, and so many hours spent every day with commuters stuck in cars, “there’s a reason Google has been investing in this technology,” he said.

Google, Apple, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and other companies are developing autonomous cars, and the reason is “to give people their lives back," he said. "The technology is coming. So the question for us, is does Uber want to be part of the future or resist, like the taxi industry? Our choice is to be a part of it.”

He sees Uber partnering with the tech firms, to figure out a way to participate. “Uber has the potential to be disrupted if we don’t do it right.”

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TAGS: Uber | Travis Kalanick | China | Didi Kuaidi | IPO
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