Uber China raises $1.2bn led by Baidu while local rival Didi Kuaidi bags $3bn

Lynsey Barber
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Uber and Baidu are partners in China (Source: Getty)

China is the new battleground for Uber - and now it has landed billions to fund a fight against a rival which calls the country home turf.

Speaking to Chinese media, Uber boss Travis Kalanick confirmed UberChina has bagged at least $1.2bn (£787m) in its latest round of funding, with the investment led by one of China's biggest tech companies, Baidu.

Meanwhile, the country's homegrown version, Didi Kuaidi, has reportedly closed a $3bn round of financing from the likes of SoftBank, Alibaba and Tencent, Bloomberg reported.

The investment values Didi Kuaidi at $16.5m, with Uber's total funding pushing it past the $8bn mark, although that could still increase - the latest round is still said to be open to investors. The company, founded in 2009, is one of the most highly-valued startups in the world, with a price tag of more than $50bn.

Read more: Uber offices raided in Hong Kong

Baidu, China's version of Google, first invested in Uber late in 2014, helping it gain a foothold in the market through access to its search, maps and mobile know-how. At the time, Kalanick said the region was a key area for growth. The company it operates in several major cities across China, the most populous country in the world.

As in many other cities around the world, Uber has faced the attention of authorities in the region, with offices in Hong Kong, China and Australia raided in recent months. However, that doesn't seem to have dented investors' appetite for a slice of the ride.

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