The car-hailing landscape in China is on absolute fire today, with reports coming in that both Uber and its main rival in the country, Didi Kuaidi, have together raised (or are very close to raising, in the latter’s case) a combined $4.2 billion in additional funding to fuel their all-out war.
Uber founder Travis Kalanick told Chinese news website Sina.com (link in Chinese) that the company’s China entity, Uber China, has closed $1.2 billion as part of an ongoing fundraising round. Reuters had already caught wind of the deal at the end of August.
Meanwhile, Didi is reportedly raising an additional $3 billion at a $16.5 billion valuation, according to Bloomberg. It’s hard to know if that’s on top of the $2 billion the company raised in July, or an extension of it.
It is also not immediately clear what the new funding puts Uber’s valuation at, which was most recently reported to be over $50 billion.
But both Uber and Didi are facing their share of challenges operating in China.
Tencent-owned messaging platform WeChat has apparently blocked Uber from using its services (Tencent is an investor in Didi, so it looks like a strategic/protective move), while Chinese authorities in some cities have made moves to ban car-hailing apps and have started fining drivers — developments that will hit both Uber and Didi hard.
Then there were also the interesting comments by an Uber spokeswoman given to The Wall Street Journal last week, claiming that Didi’s founder had told Kalanick that he was his “inspiration.”
And to top off just how messy the whole situation has become in China, Uber is the subject of an ongoing police investigation there after a female passenger claimed her driver had robbed and sexually assaulted her.
VentureBeat has reached out to both Uber and Didi for comment, and we’ll update you if we hear back.