17 December 2014:Chinese internet group Baidu has confirmed it will buy a stake in car-hailing app Uber, in a move that could support the US company’s growth in a taxi app market already dominated by two big local players.
Baidu said it will invest an unspecified amount in privately-held Uber, which already operates in nine cities in China. The FT reported that Baidu was set to buy into Uber on December 12.
The deal, Baidu said, will:
Enable users of Baidu Map and Mobile Baidu, Baidu’s flagship mobile search app, to connect easily with Uber driver-partners. Uber will leverage Baidu’s strengths in mobile search, mobile mapping and app distribution.
That could boost Uber’s brand in China’s highly competitive taxi market, which is dominated by local taxi smartphone apps Kuaidi Dache (“Speedy taxi”) and Didi Dache (“Honk Honk Taxi”).
Said Baidu’s Robin Li:
Uber’s rapid growth in the last four years is testimony to the tremendous demand for easy, reliable, and inexpensive transportation. We’re delighted that we can work together to help meet that demand â€” and we’re excited by this pioneering strategic partnership between a Chinese and an American Internet company.
Source Fast FT