What Uber’s Foray into China Can Teach Other Companies With Similar Ambitions


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.