Future of transport

Didi Kuaidi in talks to invest in dominant SE Asia taxi-hailing app Grabtaxi: report

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 June, 2015, 4:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 September, 2015, 3:58pm

Mainland China's leading taxi-hailing app Didi Kuaidi is reportedly in talks to invest in southeast Asian rival Grabtaxi, according to media reports.

An unnamed source in the investment community told Chinese IT news portal Yesky that Xiaoju Kuaizhi, the Cayman Islands-based holding company which owns Didi Kuaidi, was hoping an investment in Grabtaxi would enable it to following competitor Uber in expanding into overseas markets.

Headquarted in Singapore, Grabtaxi operates taxi-hailing services in 20 cities across Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. As of March, the company had 75,000 registered drivers and more than 3.8 million users across the region.

Reached by the South China Morning Post, Grabtaxi declined to comment on any potential investment.

Didi Kuaidi, formed by the merger of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache and by far the largest player in China's car-hailing market with a more than 95 per cent share, is expanding rapidly to keep up with growing demand and to fend off advances from US rival Uber.

Last week, Didi Kuaidi set a target of US$2 billion for its latest fundraising round, after its initial US$1.5 billion goal was oversubscribed in just five days.

Uber recently announced plans to invest more than US$1 billion in its Chinese operations this year. Last week, an Uber Hong Kong executive said at the second SCMP Game Changers forum that the company's Asian operations may soon surpass the US.

While the San Francisco-based company claims more than one million daily Uber riders in China, this figure has come into question with reports surfacing that many drivers in the country fake rides in order to cash in on generous subsidies offered by the company.