Uber China and Didi Merge

Uber China (not global Uber) is merging with Didi Chuxing. These are the two biggest ride-sharing services in China, and they’re becoming one.

This news is really about the ride-sharing wars, and not so much about autonomous vehicles. But a lot of people believe that autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing services will be integrated in the future, so it seems worth noting.

Didi is by far the larger of the two competitors, and some news articles are calling this a sale by Uber, not a merger. But both Uber and Didi have been burning cash in an effort to subsidize drivers, lure riders, and keep up with each other.

In the US this type of deal might face regulatory scrutiny, but I haven’t seen any commentary on that in the coverage I’ve read.

It is notable that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, in his email to staff announcing the merger, said the deal would free up cash to invest in “self-driving technology” among other things.

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