UPDATED 8/9/15: Ride-hailing app maker Uber has reportedly raised $1.2 billion in an ongoing fundraising round, led by search giant Baidu, to expand in China, while its biggest rival in the country Didi Kuaidi has raised $3 billion.
The Uber figure was revealed by its CEO Travis Kalanick in an interview with Chinese news website Sina, while Bloomberg reported the Didi Kuaidi numbers, quoting people familiar with the matter, adding that the amount was more than originally planned and values the company at $16.5 billion.
An Uber spokesperson told Mobile World Live that it “cannot make a commentary on specific figures” or on “whether the amount of investment or business valuation are beyond expectations” but added that “we see the enthusiasm of investors.”
Two weeks ago, Uber closed a $1 billion round of funding in the Asian country, which valued its operations in the mainland at about $7 billion, and in June said it was looking to expand its service into 50 new Chinese cities from its current 11 as well as invest $1.1 billion in the country. According to a Reuters report this week, Uber has now doubled that city rollout ambition (up from almost 20 today).
As a reaction to what can be deemed an aggressive move by Uber, Didi Kuaidi, the company behind the country’s two dominant taxi-booking apps, raised $2 billion in July.
Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache are the two leading taxi apps in China and merged back in February to create Didi Kuaidi, the world’s largest smartphone-based taxi service valued at an estimated $6 billion at the time.
The company continues to run separate apps but has combined their technology and data.