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10 things you didn’t know about Uber China

Liu Qing and Liu Chuanzhi
Liu Qing, left, and Liu Chuanzhi

1. Liu Chuanzhi, the founder of Lenovo and one of godfathers of Chinese entrepreneurs, inspired two female executives working for ride-hailing companies. His niece Liu Zhen is Uber’s director of China Strategy and his daughter Liu Qing is the chairman of Didi Chuxing, which is Uber’s main rival in China. Some critics have called the competition between Uber China and Didi a “family struggle”.

Uber’s Travis Kalanick, left and Baidu’s Robin Li

2. Uber China is Uber’s only independent operator. Uber China’s servers are all in China. It was reported that Baidu invested in Uber China with USD 600 million.

3. Uber China claims that it holds 35% market share in China, but research firm Analysys International reported that its market share is only 16.2%.

4. Uber China is currently in 21 cities and plans to expand to 100 cities in 2016. Out of those cities, Uber is most popular in Chengdu and Hangzhou. The number of Uber transactions in these two cities have surpassed New York and Chicago.

5. Uber China has encountered roadblocks in its operations, just like Uber has everywhere else in the world. The company was under investigation from authorities in Guangzhou, Southern China.

6. Uber China’s promotions are creative. During a rainstorm in Shanghai back in June, Uber changed its icon from a car to a boat on the vehicle location feature on its app. This move attracted a lot of attention on Chinese social media.

7. Uber China has completed its series-B fundraising. They have plans to be listed on the Chinese A-share stock market.

8. Uber China has never had a CEO, but a candidate for this vacant post will be announced by Christmas.

9. Liu Zhen said Uber China’s investment in China will exceed RMB 6.3 billion (USD 984.6 million).

10. Uber China joined the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in January with registered capital of RMB 2.1 billion. The free trade zone is a testing ground for social and economic reform.

(Photos from Baidu Images)

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