China's biggest ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing said Thursday it has secured $7.3 billion in its latest round of funding. With this, it has ramped up the competition for Uber as the latter attempts to find its footing in China after a loss of $1 billion last year.
Didi said it closed a $4.5 billion fundraising round that attracted new investors such as Apple, China Life Insurance Co. and the financial affiliate of online shopping firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. This includes a $1 billion investment by Apple that was announced in May.
In addition to this, China Merchants Bank has committed to become the lead arranger for a syndicated loan facility of up to $2.5 billion to Didi, the company said. China Life Insurance also added a long-term debt investment of about $300 million.
“We are greatly inspired by strong support from investors worldwide who have demonstrated full confidence in Didi’s potential. In just four years, Didi has created a firm lead in China's mobile transportation sector,” Cheng Wei, CEO and founder of Didi, said in a press release.
Didi said the funding is the largest amount it has raised since it merged two separate firms in early 2015. It is expected to be spent on technology upgrades for its online platform to match transportation demands with drivers, data mining and business expansion in China and overseas.
Didi said it now has about $10.5 billion in disposable funds after this round of funding. In comparison, San Francisco-based Uber has $11 billion after a $3.5 billion funding injection from the investment arm of Saudi Arabia earlier this month.