The original Uber China app, developed by Uber Technologies Inc., officially went offline on Sunday in the world’s most populous internet market.
Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing app, transferred all related services to its own version, commonly referred to as the “new” Uber China app, months after its acquisition of Uber China in August. AllChinaTech looks back at Uber China’s history against the background of China’s ride sharing industry.
· 2009 – Uber was founded in San Francisco. It connects drivers with riders via a smart app.
· January 2014 – During Chinese New Year, Uber China put on traditional Lion Dance performances in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Singapore via the iOS and Android Uber app.
· February 2014 – Uber China officially launched services in Shanghai and announced its Chinese name – Youbu, meaning “a better step”. Days later, the company entered the first-tier southeastern Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
· July 2014 – Uber China officially launched its services in Beijing, after about two months’ trial operation. Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO, flew from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco to announce the news, and met Uber China supporters in Beijing. As one of the fastest growing markets in Uber’s history, Beijing was also the 100th city for Uber worldwide.
· August 2014 – People’s Uber, a car-pooling service, was introduced by Uber China in Beijing.
· October 2014 – Uber China entered more second and third tier cities, mostly in central China, including Chengdu and Wuhan.
· December 2014 – Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, made a strategic investment into Uber China and entered a cooperation agreement with Uber. Travis Kalanick and Robin Li, Baidu CEO, signed on to the agreement, according to which the two companies would cooperate in technological innovation, international markets, and china’s online-to-offline services.
· April 2015 – Uber China introduced a series of measures to ensure riders’ security, including the screening of drivers and vehicle requirements.
· April 2015 – Ms. Liu Zhen, a corporate counsel at a renowned Silicon Valley law firm, joined Uber as Uber China’s SVP and Head of Strategy, overseeing corporate strategy for the company and leading its strategic development, including government relations, public affairs, and business development.
· January 2016 – The ride-hailing war became heated in China. Liu Zhen stated that Uber would beat Didi on overall market share within the following year.
· February 2016 – Uber China confirmed its nearly USD two billion financing from Chinese investors, including China’s HNA Group, China Minsheng Bank, and China Vanke Group Co.
· February 2016 – Uber China admitted that it spent about USD one billion a year in China. Unlike other Uber markets, China’s ride hailing industry is a cash burning one. Kalanick accused UberChina’s main Chinese rival, Didi Kuaidi, of burning even more cash than them.
· July 2016 – The Ministry of Transportation and six other government ministries on Thursday jointly published the “preliminary rules on the management of online car-booking,” legalizing ride-hailing services in China for the first time.
· August 2016 – Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride hailing app, stated that it would acquire all assets of Uber China, including its brand, business operations and data. Uber, on the other hand, would receive 5.89% of the combined company with preferred equity interest, which is equal to a 17.7% economic interest in Didi Chuxing.
· September 2016 – Liu Zhen resigned from her post at Uber China.
· October 2016 – Main Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, introduced their own local rules for ride-hailing management, requiring ride-hailing drivers to have a local hukou (local residency) and local car plates. These rules will greatly reduce the number of drivers and cars in the industry.
· October 2016 – After eating up Uber China, Didi competes internationally with Uber.
· October 2016 – Didi launched its version of the Uber app and informed users that the old app would soon cease to be supported. The new app is basically a part of the Didi ride-hailing operating system.
· November 2016 – Uber China’s original app went offline
(Top photo from Baidu Images)