Uber aims to expand to 100 additional cities in China over the next year, company CEO Travis Kalanick said today, doubling the ride-hailing service's previous target. As Reuters reports, the announcement comes after Uber China raised an additional $1.2 billion in financing. The company currently operates in 11 Chinese cities.
Speaking at a Beijing event held by Chinese search company Baidu, Kalanick said that Uber's market share has increased sharply in China, where it already faces competition from Didi Kuaidi, a Beijing-based taxi-hailing service. On Monday, Reuters reported that Didi Kuaidi has raised $3 billion in its latest round of fundraising, valuing the company at $16.5 billion.
Progress with "harmony" and "stability"
"When we started this year, we were about 1 percent market share," Kalanick said. "Today, nine months later, we're looking at about 30 to 35 percent market share." He did not specify whether that figure included services for taxis or just private cars. Didi Kuaidi currently dominates the overall ride-sharing market in China, accounting for 99 percent of China's online taxi market and 78 percent of its private car business, according to recent research from Analysys International.
Kalanick also spoke about Uber's close relationship with Baidu at yesterday's event, saying that the search giant had made it easier for the company to meet "the government officials that want to shepherd our kind of innovation and our kind of progress into their cities." He added that Uber is looking forward to new Chinese regulations for the ride-hailing industry, peppering his speech with words like "harmony" and "stability," which are commonly used in government messaging.
"Progress is something we see the government be incredibly open to," Kalanick said, adding that such progress "always has to be in harmony with stability and that is one of the big things that we partnered with the government on."