Dozens of Uber Official Accounts hosted on China’s largest social media network, WeChat, are reported to have been blocked, Tech news website Hu Xiu reported on Friday.
Tencent’s WeChat claims to have more than 650 million registered users in China. Companies and businessmen use WeChat Official Accounts as an important way to share information and network.
However, Uber staff have revealed that their WeChat accounts have been blocked and some may be permanent. Uber China later published a list of 15 accounts operating in local Chinese cities reportedly having been blocked, including Southern China’s Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Changsha.
It is suspected that it may have to do with Uber planning a new round of fundraising, which is likely to push Uber’s valuation to USD 62.5 Billion. Major Uber rival Didi Kuaidi is backed by Tencent and Didi has been in a cutthroat competition with Uber. If Uber lands more funding, it means more pressure for Didi, Hu Xiu reports.
Earlier, Didi allied with U.S.-based car-hailing company Lyft, India’s Ola and Singapore’s GrabTaxi to take on Uber.
In fact, this is not the first time that Uber official accounts have been blocked on WeChat. Many of Uber’s WeChat Official Accounts were blocked in May. Uber then registered accounts in its 21 operating cities, registering half as Official Accounts and half as personal accounts in an attempt to thwart a potential block. But it has happened again.
Uber is China’s second largest car-hailing app. According to a recent Analysys International report, Didi Kuaidi leads China’s private car-hailing market with 83.2% market share for quarter three, with Uber tailing behind at 16.2%.