Uber is currently engaged in a war of attrition with China’s largest ride-sharing company, Didi Kuaidi, and it’s costing the company more than $1 billion a year, according to CEO Travis Kalanick. We’ve known that Uber is losing a lot of money in China, but we didn’t know how much until now. According to Kalanick, Didi Kuaidi is losing tons of money as well, so it’s really a matter of which company can raise the most funding and secure the most market share until one of them ends up leaving the market. Uber is still profitable in the United States though, so it’s not all that bad.
It’s no secret that Uber is burning cash in China, the only question has been how much. The answer, per a recent interview with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, is more than $1 billion a year. “We’re profitable in the USA, but we’re losing over $1 billion a year in China,” Kalanick said in a “fireside chat” in Vancouver, according to Betakit. “We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share.” The fierce competitor that Kalanick is talking about is Didi Kuaidi, the no. 1 taxi and ride-hailing player in China. The funding war between Uber and Didi Kuaidi has escalated over the last few months. Didi Kuaidi is valued at $16.5 billion after securing $3 billion in September. Uber’s China unit closed its own series B round about a month ago, the size and valuation of which weren’t disclosed. “I wish the world wasn’t that way. I prefer building rather than fundraising,” Kalanick reportedly said at the fireside chat. “But if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share.”