Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi raises US$4bn

Uber's Asian rival now worth $50bn after fresh $4bn fundraising round

China's ride-sharing platform Didi Chuxing Technology Co. has raised $4 billion in a new round of funding that will help the company with intermetal expansion and technology developments.

The new injection of cash gives Didi a staggering valuation of $56 billion, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The fresh funds will be used for artificial intelligence, global expansion and building charging networks for electric cars, Didi said in a statement.

According to Didi it meant to use the proceeds to "scale up investments in AI (artificial intelligence) talent and technologies, to further build up its intelligent driving and smart transportation capabilities, and to bring more innovative and diversified transportation services to broader communities around the world".

Since its inception in 2012, Didi has become China's top ride-hailing service by merging with a major domestic rival and buying the Chinese operations of USA ride-hailing app operator Uber Technologies.

Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital also invested in the funding round, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. Existing investors in the company include Apple, Tencent and Alibaba.

Didi president Jean Liu told The National last month the company was in no hurry to raise further money via an initial public offering, noting that the company was well-capitalised and that there was no pressure for a listing from its investors.

The latest round of funding values the company at around $56bn.

Didi has also invested in Uber's rivals globally, including US-based Lyft, Brazil-based 99 and Singapore-headquartered Grab.

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