Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion for AI push and international expansion

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摘要:Didi Chuxing has announced another gargantuan equity funding round, as the Chinese ride-hailing giant reveals it has raised a further $4 billion.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion for AI push and international expansion-3366NEWS

Image Credit: Shutterstock / leungchopan

Didi Chuxing has announced another gargantuan equity funding round, as the Chinese ride-hailing giant reveals it has raised a further $4 billion.

This latest round comes just eight months after the company raised $5.5 billion, which followed a year after it raised $7.3 billion from big-name backers including Apple. This new cash injection takes Didi’s total inbound investments to $19.7 billion, though the company didn’t reveal who the investors were beyond stating they were “Chinese and international institutions.”

With another $4 billion in the bank, Didi said that it plans double down on its artificial intelligence (AI) investments, support its global expansion, and support other initiatives such as “new energy vehicle service networks,” according to a statement issued by the company.

The story so far

Didi Chuxing came to be following a merger between local rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache in 2015. Similar to Uber, Didi Chuxing offers smartphone-based car services, such as carpooling, taxis, and premium cars with drivers, while it has previously revealed how it’s lending its data to cities which are leveraging it in all manner of ways to fight road congestion.

Though Didi Chuxing’s core ride-hailing service is limited to China, the company has been spreading its proverbial wings through investing in rivals elsewhere in the world, and in many ways this could be helping to stymie Uber’s traction in key markets.  For example, back in August Didi invested in Careem, an Uber rival that’s popular in dozens of cities across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. That same month, it also invested in Taxify, an e-taxi company that operates in Europe and Africa. Elsewhere, Didi has plowed money into Uber’s U.S. rival Lyft, while in India it invested in Olaas well as Southeast Asia’s Grab.

And let’s not forget that Uber unfurled the white flag on its Chinese dream last year when it elected to merge its local operations with Didi in a $30 billion deal. And earlier this year Didi opened a fancy new AI facility in Mountain View, California.

So the company’s latest cash bounty will essentially help the company do what it has already been doing, but at even greater scale: it will likely make further investments in transport-related companies around the world, while also developing new technologies, or “smart transport solutions” as Didi calls it, aimed at helping cities fight traffic.

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