GAC backs Uber to boost sales

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By QI­UQUAN­LIN in Guangzhou qi­uquan­lin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

GAC Group has be­come a strate­gic in­vestor in Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc’s China op­er­a­tions, a move that both sides be­lieve will help boost the carhail­ing ser­vice provider’s pres­ence and in­crease sales for the Guangzhou, Guang­dong-based car­maker.

In a state­ment re­leased on Wed­nes­day, GAC said its over­seas sub­sidiary, Zhon­g­long In­vest­ment Co, had in­vested about $100 mil­lion in Uber’s se­cond round of fi­nanc­ing for its China op­er­a­tions.

In De­cem­ber, they signed a strate­gic part­ner­ship agree­ment un­der which GAC would co­op­er­ate with Uber China in sec­tors like equity in­vest­ment, car sales, fi­nanc­ing, ser­vice­and mar­ket op­er­a­tions, es­pe­cially for pro­mo­tion of new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles.

The in­vest­ment from Chi­nese com­pa­nies would help boost Uber’s mar­ket share in China, said Wang De’an, an auto an­a­lyst at Ping An Se­cu­ri­ties Co.

“While Uber has taken big­ger fish in­most­mar­kets, things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent in China as lo­cal ride-shar­ing com­pany Didi Kuaidi is the dom­i­nant player,” saidWang.

Didi Kuaidi, backed by a group of top com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Alibaba GroupHold­ing Ltd and Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd, han­dles about 3 mil­lion rides a day, while Uber has around 1 mil­lion daily rides in China, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources.

“The new round of fi­nanc­ing would help Uber ben­e­fit from the ex­pand­ing Chi­nese mar­ket,” saidWang.

GAC, in turn, ex­pects the in­vest­ment to boost sales, es­pe­cially in pro­mo­tion of the new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles.

GACMo­tor Co, a sub­sidiary of GAC Group, has al­ready pro­vided dozens of en­er­gysav­ing ve­hi­cles to Uber for ser­vices in Wuhan, the cap­i­tal of Hubei prov­ince, and Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal Guang­dong, ac­cord­ing sources with the com­pany.

Uber and GAC will co­op­er­ate in pro­mot­ing and us­ing en­ergy-sav­ing and new-en­ergy au­to­mo­biles in­clud­ing hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles to boost green travel, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

Uber has in­vested more than 6.3 bil­lion yuan ($996 mil­lion) in China, with ser­vices cov­er­ing 22 Chi­nese cities since its China op­er­a­tion was es­tab­lished in the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone in 2015, with a reg­is­tered cap­i­tal of 2.1 bil­lion yuan.

In ad­di­tion to the part­ner­ship with GAC, Uber China has also es­tab­lished strate­gic part­ner­ships with some of China’s lead­ing en­ter­prises in var­i­ous in­dus­tries, in sup­port of its long-term com­mit­ment to the China mar­ket.

In the lat­est move, Uber has signed a global strate­gic part­ner­ship with Chi­nese car­rier HNA Group for de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive travel so­lu­tions for Chi­nese and global trav­el­ers.

Un­der the terms of the part­ner­ship, which was signed in Bei­jing on Mon­day, pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing on HNA flights can en­joy fa­vor­able rates on Uber rides to and from the air­ports and spe­cial pro­mo­tions on lo­cal Uber rides will be of­fered to trav­el­ers stay­ing at any HNA ho­tels in China and around the world. of to

The new round of fi­nanc­ing would help Uber ben­e­fit from the ex­pand­ing Chi­nese mar­ket.”

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