Didi Chuxing raises Dollars 4 billion in new equity funding

Uber's Asian rival now worth $50bn after fresh $4bn fundraising round

BEIJING-China's ride-sharing platform Didi Chuxing Technology Co. raised $4 billion in fresh funding, pushing its valuation closer to rival Uber Technologies Inc. and giving it ample money to spend on self-driving vehicles and other artificial intelligence systems.

The latest investment values Didi at over US$50 billion, according to Reuters, and equips it with the cash needed to aggressively pursue expansion opportunities overseas.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Didi would launch in Mexico next year, marking Didi's first expansion of its services beyond China.

Since its inception in 2012, Didi has become China's top ride-hailing service by merging with a major domestic rival and buying the Chinese operations of USA ride-hailing app operator Uber Technologies.

Sources, reported by the Wall Street Journal, said that Softbank - the Japanese telecoms and ecommerce group, and an existing investor - was among the latest investors, as well as the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Capital.

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Didi said that the latest round of funds would help it expand into global markets, as well as development of artificial intelligence technology and its green transport initiative. The two firms declared a stalemate in China past year following an exhausting price war, with each company agreeing to invest in each other last August.

Didi has also invested in Uber's rivals globally, including US-based Lyft, Brazil-based 99 and Singapore-headquartered Grab.

In a very brief statement announcing the funding, Didi said that "Chinese and worldwide institutions joined the latest fundraising round".

The latest round of funding values the company at around $56bn.

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