Didi Kuaidi, Uber’s biggest rival in China, delivered a billion rides last year.
By comparison, it took Uber five years of international expansion to hit the one-billion ride mark. According to the company, Uber gave its one-billionth ride in London on Christmas Eve 2015.
Didi Kuaidi announced Monday that the company gave 200 million rides in December 2015 alone — and 1.43 billion rides in 2015 altogether.
It’s worth noting that the 1.43 billion figure comes from all of Didi’s services (private car, taxi, social carpooling service Hitch, Didi bus, enterprise services and more).
Uber and Didi Kuaidi are locked in a fierce battle in China.
Four of Uber’s 10 biggest cities are now in China, according to an email sent by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to investors and obtained by the Financial Times this summer.
Uber has been investing heavily in China, and the service is growing there like crazy.
Uber’s service is taking off in China much faster than it did in the United States. Nine months after launching in Chengdu, Uber had 479 times the trips it had in New York after the same amount of time.
Uber is also putting a lot of money into its Chinese growth. Uber’s China branch has closed a funding round that values it at $7 billion. In total, Uber has raised more than $6 billion in several funding rounds, including a $600 million investment from Chinese search engine company Baidu.
Uber’s potential to own international markets is a big reason investors are interested in giving the five-year-old private company billions of dollars. It’s currently raising a round at a $62.5 billion valuation and an insider told Business Insider how:
“The company is selling the future in Asia,” this person said. “I don’t even think they’re talking about self-driving cars. They’re saying, if 30% of our revenue is in Asia, imagine how our company will look in the next five years if we nail India and China. Look at the potential market waiting for you.”
Uber has also apparently already placed servers in China, as part of its earlier effort to obtain an internet service company licence in China, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Uber faces competition in China, though.
In September, Didi Kuaidi — Uber’s biggest competitor in China — and Lyft, Uber’s biggest US rival, announced the two companies were teaming up to take on Uber.
The strategic partnership will let the companies share technology, product development, and local resources, and when US users of Lyft go to China (or when Didi users come visit the US), they will be able to pay in their native currency on each app.
Since then, Singapore’s GrabTaxi and India’s Ola have joined a partnership with the ride-hailing companies Lyft and Didi Kuaidi, creating a global alliance between all four startups.
Now that Lyft has teamed up with Didi, the two companies seem better suited to take on Uber. Didi recently closed a $3 billion round of venture capital funding, and it’s valued at $15 billion, so it’s well-equipped financially — in total, Didi Kuaidi has amassed a $4 billion war chest of venture capital funding.