The chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc UBER.UL said the company is burning through more than a billion dollars a year in China, where it is locked in a fierce battle with larger local rival Didi Kuaidi to lure consumers with cut-price deals. Uber's China unit boosted its valuation last month to more than $8 billion after it raised over $1 billion in its latest funding round, although the U.S. ride-hailing app is not yet profitable in the mainland due to intense competition. "We're profitable in the USA, but we're losing over $1 billion a year in China," Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick told Canadian technology platform Betakit. Uber officials in China confirmed the comments in an email to Reuters on Thursday. "We have a fierce competitor that's unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they're buying up market share. I wish the world wasn't that way." Uber and China's Didi Kuaidi, backed by Chinese technology giants Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), have both spent heavily to subsidize rides to gain market share, betting on China's Internet-linked transport market becoming the world's biggest. Uber China said in an emailed statement that Didi Kuaidi was having to spend "many multiples" more than the U.S. firm to increase its share of the market, adding that Uber's China operation was backed up by profitable ones outside the region.