Uber to merge with Chinese rival in $US35 billion deal

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Uber China, the regional subsidiary of the car-hailing app juggernaut, is merging with Didi Chuxing — its biggest and most major rival in the country — in a $US35 billion mega-merger, reports Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer.

Newcomer cites details taken from a blog post by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, obtained by Bloomberg ahead of official announcement of the deal. That announcement will reportedly be made on Monday in the US.

Under the terms of the deal, Didi will make a $US1 billion investment in Uber at a $US68 billion valuation, while Uber China’s investors will own 20% of the merged company.

Uber China is a separately-held joint venture between the main Uber business, China-based internet giant Baidu, and other outside investors.

The Uber China business has long been an albatross around Uber’s neck: While Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has said that the company is profitable in many markets, it has yet to turn a profit in China, even as it lags behind first-place Didi Chuxing in the region.

The news should come as some kind of relief to private equity investors, who have reportedly been pushing for some kind of truce between Uber China and Didi Chuxing, as both companies pour in billions without any profit to show for it.

Notably, Apple recently invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, at a valuation that could have been $25 billion or higher. It remains to be seen if this is the outcome that Apple was pushing for with this investment.

Uber was not immediately available for comment.

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