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Didi Kuaidi, the car-booking business backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., told investors in a letter Friday its $1.5 billion fundraising target was oversubscribed in five days.
Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., which operates the Didi and Kuaidi apps, said it may increase the amount to be raised. Rival Uber Technologies Inc. has said it may spend $1 billion to expand in China.
The Didi and Kuaidi apps, which form China’s largest taxi and ride-sharing platform, merged this year to limit the rising costs of competing with each other and Uber. The Chinese company works directly with existing taxi drivers, sidestepping some of the protests Uber has faced in the country.
“Taxis themselves are an important part of ridesharing,” Cheng Wei, Xiaoju Kuaizhi chairman, said in the letter. “Taxi hailing not only provides a trusted and stable method to transportation, but is also a $50 billion industry that employs millions of taxi drivers across China.”
Private car requests have tripled to 3 million daily rides on Didi Kuaidi platforms since May and gross merchandise volume is expected to reach $12 billion by the end of this year, according to the letter.
Didi Kuaidi still runs separate apps that customers use to access their service, while combining their technology and data. The company has 1.5 million taxi drivers in its network out of the 2 million in all of China, according to the letter. The services account for 99 percent of the country’s taxi-hailing market and an 80 percent market share in the private car sector, it said.
Uber, the car-booking company that has roiled transportation markets worldwide by letting people hail rides from their smartphones, is negotiating a $2 billion credit line from a group of Wall Street banks, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber had initially sought $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported June 19.
Taxi drivers in China have held protests against Uber, which they say unfairly saps demand for their services. The San Francisco-based company has told its drivers to stay away from the protests, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Baidu Inc., China’s largest search engine operator, in December agreed to buy a stake in Uber.
This article was written by Lulu Yilun Chen from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.