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Chinese ride-hailing firm UCAR rolls onto China’s New Third Board

Three months after its application, China’s leading ride-hailing firm UCAR was officially approved to be listed on China’s New Third Board.

The New Third Board, also known as the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, is a Chinese share transfer system for small- and medium-sized unlisted corporations. UCAR will be the first ride-hailing company entering the system.

UCAR went online on January 2015. Unlike Didi or Uber China, all the drivers and vehicles are provided by the company itself, which is known as a business-to-customer model. It has landed a total of over USD 1.3 billion in financing, and its latest valuation is USD four billion.

Public data shows that the company’s daily orders were 260,300 in Q1 2016, a big increase from the 37,600 in Q1 2015. Its net revenue was RMB 988 million in Q4 2016. However, the company is still running at a loss because it’s in the startup stage and the competition is stiff.

For comparison, consider the figures for the dominant player in China, Didi Chuxing: Didi said in March that its platform daily orders had surpassed 10 million. The comparison is not perfect, because Didi offers a wider range of services than UCAR. Even so, the specific numbers for Didi’s more directly comparable ride-hailing orders reach one million per day some individual cities in China, like Beijing.

Data and research firm Analysys International released a report in June. It shows that UCAR ranks third at 10.7% in terms of active users coverage in China in Q1 2016, following Didi’s 85.6% and Uber China’s 15.4%.

According to a report by German strategy consulting firm Roland Berger in March, the Chinese ride-hailing market size was RMB 7.7 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in 2015, and it will reach RMB 500 billion in 2020. There is clearly much potential for growth in the market, but whether UCAR will be able to withstand the fierce competition remains to be seen.

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