Chinese car-hailing app Didi Chuxing announced today it received an investment of about $600 million from China Life Insurance, just a month after it raised $1 billion from Apple.
Didi, China’s most popular taxi-hailing service, has been boosting its funding as it faces increased competition from Uber, which has been expanding agressively in China and across Asia Pacific. In early June Uber received $3.5 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the biggest investment it has received to date.
The US firm has been ramping up its operations in China since early January when a group of Chinese investors put nearly $2 billion into Uber. That move came shortly after four ride-hailing services — Didi, US-based Lyft, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab – agreed to partner to scale up their services to compete against Uber.
Didi claims it completes more than 11 million rides a day, serving close to 300 million users in more than 400 Chinese cities.
The investment by China Life, which is the largest insurer in the Asia-Pacific region by market value, included equity of $300 million and a long-term borrowing commitment of $305 million, Reuters reported.
Didi in January announced a strategic partnership with China Merchants Bank (CMB) to offer financing to drivers and enable the bank’s customers to pay for rides using their credit cards. CMB said it would invest $200 million in Didi and provide financing to the firm’s drivers for them to purchase cars by installment.
Both Didi and Uber have spent heavily to subsidise fares to gain market share in China.
Didi reportedly is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in New York, but the company said the timing of the IPO will depend on how the competitive landscape evolves over the next year.