Didi to merge with rival Uber ride service in China | News | DW | 01.08.2016
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Didi to merge with rival Uber ride service in China

China's ride service Didi will merge with Uber's operations in China, with the deal valued at $35 billion, according to media reports. The US-based giant has been losing money in the price war for the east Asian market.

The deal between the two companies is nearly complete and could be announced as early as Monday, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News also reported on the massive merger.

Didi controls almost 90 percent of the car-sharing market in China, and Uber has been losing over $1 billion (almost 900 million euro) per year trying to box out its share. Didi, which is valued at $28 billion, was also forced to subsidize its drivers and passengers.

Last year, the Chinese company invested $100 million in Uber's American rival Lyft. It also forged alliances with India's ride service Ola and Southeast Asian Grab to curb Uber's dominance.

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The newest deal, however, would see Didi take control over Uber's operations in China, which are valued at $7 billion. Uber's Chinese investors would have a 20 percent stake in the new company.

Didi would also invest $1 billion in Uber, which it values at $68 billion.

The deal comes only days after Beijing passed new rules for car sharing in the country of 1.3 billion, taking away legal uncertainty for the operators.

Uber has expanded to over 50 countries since its foundation in 2009, but still battles legal obstacles and lobbying from established taxi companies across the globe.

dj/kl (Reuters, AFP)