Ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is to buy Uber's China operations, in a deal that will give Uber a stake in the company and end bruising competition between the two. As Sonia Legg reports, the deal is reportedly valued at $35 billion.
China's number one taxi app is picking up Uber. Didi Chuxing has confirmed it will buy the U.S. firm's China operations - drawing a line under the bruising competition between the two... And reportedly creating a 35 billion dollar powerhouse. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "They have punched each other to a standstill and I think the best offer is to maybe if you can't beat them join them so this deal between Uber and Didi may allow a bit of a cessation of the hostilities between the two companies." It's thought a 20% stake in the new combined company will go to investors in Uber China - which is part-owned by the company's master operation in San Francisco... But also has big local backers like internet giant Baidu. Didi was only created last year, from the merger of two companies propped up by tech titans Alibaba and Tencent... Although Uber was seen as its number one rival, it's always been miles ahead of all competition in China - cornering close to 90% of the taxi app market - and clocking up more than 11 million rides a day. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "From a monopoly point of view I think they suck up the entire market so questions need to be asked about how competitive that market is likely to be. Given the numbers some insiders are reporting about how much Uber has lost within the Chinese market over the past couple of years I think they'll be glad for the détente." The deal comes just a week after China issued its first official guidelines for online cab services - meaning they are now fully legal, and don't have to operate in the grey area they once did... A long awaited move for a booming industry in the world's number one auto market.