China's Ride-Sharing App Didi Raises $4 Billion in New Funding

Meanwhile, Didi's latest planned investment in AI and global expansion is not a new phenomenon.

Local and foreign groups contributed to the huge pot, which will be used to fuel Didi's global expansion and support new developments in artificial intelligence and new energy vehicles, the company said in a statement.

Competition in China's booming mobile payment market is set to intensify, after Didi Chuxing, the country's largest ride-hailing company, acquired a much-coveted license to enter the internet finance sector. The company also said it plans to increase investments in AI talent and technologies to enhance its intelligent driving and smart transport capabilities, and expand these services to more markets around the world.

Didi tapped existing investors SoftBank and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital, the person familiar with the deal said.

Didi has almost half a billion users around the world and handles up to 25 million rides per day. "This is the path that most Chinese companies follow", added Wang.

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Didi Chuxing, China's rival to Uber, raised $4bn in its latest fund-raising efforts to enable its expansion beyond its domestic market.

The deal came after the People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank, said past year that it would control the number of third-party payment licenses issued, making them highly sought-after.

Didi, which bought Uber's China operations a year ago, has almost half a billion users around the world and handles up to 25 million rides per day.

Didi has also invested in several of Uber's rivals globally, including USA -based Lyft, Brazil-based 99, India's Ola, Singapore-headquartered Grab, Estonia's Taxify and Careem in the Middle East.

However, another competitor could soon emerge as China's largest on-demand internet service provider Meituan Dianping is reported to be launching a ride-hailing service in seven Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, according to a report in local media Caixin.

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