Originally published in Entrepreneur Magazine
By John Kim
When Beijing, some months back, announced new regulations to legalize app-based ride-hailing services in China, Uber Technologies Inc. hailed that move as a “historic starting point.”
Indeed, the removal of regulatory uncertainty seemed to set the stage for Uber for an expansion in China that could boost that San Francisco-based firm’s existing $62.5-billion valuation sky-high. No surprise, then, that Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick told the Financial Times that China was “the number-one priority for Uber’s global team.”
The ride-sharing giant even announced new services aimed at differentiating its Chinese offering, including boat rides, hot air balloon rides and even a puppy-delivery day, where the company would bring a cute canine to offices for a 15-minute play date.
The new rules in China, announced earlier this summer and intended to take effect later in the year, seemed to set the stage for a David vs. Goliath battle between Uber and Didi Chuxing — the Chinese transportation company, which dominates more than 80 percent of the market and has backing from Apple, plus a partnership with Uber’s biggest U.S. rival, Lyft.
But, then, shockwaves erupted…
Read the full article at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281178
John Kim Is Kauffman Partner, and serves as Managing Partner at Amasia, a cross-border venture capital firm that helps technology companies get global.