By WENDY TANG
The CEO of Didi Kuaidi, Cheng Wei, stated on Sunday at the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, once offered to buy shares of Didi Kuadi Tencent Tech reports. Cheng claims Kalanick proposed Cheng either accept Kalanick’s offer to buy 40% of Didi Kuaidi, or else face certain defeat at the prospect of competing with the deep-pocketed transportation service.
Cheng commended Uber’s track record of successfully defeating its competition in a series of wars of attrition and sought out advice from industry heavy weights: Liu Chuanzhi CEO of Legend Holdings Ltd, Tencent CEO Pony Ma and Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.
Liu suggested Cheng duke it out in the streets with Uber and use his native familiarity with the marketplace to his advantage by putting up a guerilla warfare fight. Pony Ma advised Cheng to fight Uber face to face and confront the fierce competition. Jack Ma assured Cheng imperialism is only a paper tiger backing the famous quote from Chairman Mao and Didi Dache should string Uber along for another two years.
Ma has won some foreign audiences by being out spoken but domestically he’s known for his hard-line managing style and he likes to quote Mao’s war tactics at work, according to China Entrepreneurs Magazine.
Kuaidi Dache backed by Alibaba and Didi Dache backed by Tencent, merged in February to form Didi Kuaidi. The merged unit has since seen significant growth, with Didi Kuaidi claiming to serve 200 million people in over 300 Chinese cities, with its multi-tiered transportation offerings.
Uber, also known as Youbu in China, entered the Chinese market in early 2014. Kalanick told Caixin back in June that the company has services in 11 cities throughout China, including top performers Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu. In addition to its Chinese interests, Uber has operations in 58 countries spread throughout the world.