Figures and investment plans for Uber's China operations released this week show that another new round of funding later this month, specifically for its Chinese business, would add to its current US$1.5 billion fundraising and could value Uber at US$50 billion, the Financial Times reported.
Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick said in an email titled Uber-successful in China sent to investors this week: “Our riders are completing almost 1 million trips per day and the business has doubled in the last month.”
He highlighted Uber's scale and growth in 11 cities in China despite keen competition from local competitor Didi-Kuaidi, and the massive cost in opening new urban markets and expand customer base. He said Uber plans to launch its service in 50 of the 80 Chinese cities with populations of over five million by next year.
It is also noted that four out of 10 of Uber's top markets in terms of rides are in China, and the number of rides in the Chinese cities are second only to the US market. Business growth in the Chinese cities are many times faster than New York at the same point after launch.
“To put it frankly, China represents one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber, potentially larger than the US,” he said in the email. “Success in China, however, takes commitment over the long haul and a strong will, coupled with a unique understanding of the differences in China.”
Uber's US$1.1 billion investment in China this year will not include acquisitions, and Mr. Kalanick will personally monitor the daily developments in the local market. ““Simply stated, China is the number one priority for Uber’s global team,” he said.
While Mr. Kalanick didn’t elaborate on the competition against Didi-Kuaidi in China, he did say they "clone our core product line” and leveled criticism at his competition for using recruitment tactics to block Uber’s service.
"So far, none of these manoeuvres have dented our growth,” he said. “Given the enormity of the opportunity, we will be formally launching a fundraising process for Uber China on June 22nd and would welcome participation from our existing investor base.”(Translation by David)