We just saw how the growth in China is being fueled by fake passengers and fake drivers. Here is what the fake passengers/drivers are accomplishing.
In an internal letter to investors, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said today that Uber is logging in 1 million daily rides in China. That’s as many daily rides as the company claimed to be hitting in all of its markets, worldwide, in December 2014.Encouraged its prospects in the country, Kalanick revealed the company intends to raise $1 billion specifically for its China operations. The company also claims that trip volume in Chinese cities is growing at a much faster rate than New York City. Chengdu is logging 479 times as many trips as New York City was logging at the nine-month mark, and Hangzhou is logging 422 times as many trips. (Chengdu’s population is 4.3 million and Hangzhou’s 2.5 million, so this isn’t a case of these cities being larger). [Source: Quartz]
The graph below shows the growth in China compared to the rest of the world. Quite simply, its stunning.#Uber China is logging 1 million daily rides, as many as the rest of the world, Combined! Click To Tweet
Despite the fast growth, Uber is facing a lot of competition from the local heavyweights.
In China, Uber battles with Kuadi Dache and Didi Dache, two taxi-hailing apps backed, respectively, by Chinese giants Alibaba and Tencent.
While Uber has a network in 11 cities, Didi Kuaidi’s app is now available in 300 cities in China!
To further expand, Uber is looking to forge alliances in the local space with some large companies. Baidu, the Search Engine giant, for example, recently invested $600 mn in Uber.
It’s official: Chinese Internet giant Baidu has confirmed that it is Uber’s latest investor, asTechCrunch reported last week. Baidu’s mobile search and maps apps will also integrate Uber “request a ride” buttons.
The companies did not disclose the amount of the investment. Bloomberg previously reported that Baidu had taken the entire $600 million surplus that Uber built into its most recent funding round, however a source at Baidu told TechCrunch that this is untrue.
Despite the hurdles of legality and fraud, taking the right steps will surely take Uber higher in probably the biggest market in the world, China! One thing that its surely got right is that it does have a new Chinese name for the local market!
Uber now has the Chinese name 优步 (You Bu). In one other important localization, the service now supports online payments via Alipay, China’s top e-payment service.