One chart that shows why Uber had to strike a deal with Didi in China

Ever since Uber announced it was making a deal to merge with rival Didi Chuxing in China, there have been plenty of explanations as to how the deal came to be.

On Didi’s end, the deal was likely spurred by not only Uber’s spending and growth in China, but by the possibility of a Lyft-Uber merger.

But why did Uber really throw in the towel? From the looks of this data, the answer to that is pretty clear:

Data intelligence firm 7Park Data performed a survey
of more than 50 million Android users in China and found that Didi had amassed an audience that was about four to five times the size of Uber’s, and that its market share among Android users was 80% or better in the majority of Chinese markets. When looking at major Chinese cities like Shanghai and Beijing, it’s clear that Uber never stood a chance.
Uber was lagging behind in weekly active users on Android, too, barely even cracking 2% of the users surveyed in Beijing.

According to Byrne Hobart, lead internet analyst at 7Park Data, in a “winner take all (or most)” industry like on-demand transportation, Uber would have had to outgrow, out-raise, and outspend Didi to rationalize staying in the competition in China. Once Uber realised that was highly unlikely, a merger was the only option.

The survey did point out that Uber was making progress in China, slowly but surely. The data shows that Uber was actually growing faster than Didi in several markets — but Uber’s share remained small due to a smaller base of users.

You can read the full report over at 7Park Data’s blog.

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