Chinese taxi booking app Kuaide will acquire its Shanghai-based competitor, Dahuangfeng, according to a tweet from Kuaide on Sina Weibo. Technode reports Kuaide’s main backer, e-commerce giant Alibaba, will increase its investment.
Kuaide already holds the largest market share of any taxi app in China with 41.8 percent, followed by Didi with 39.2 percent. Dahuangfeng holds 3.9 percent market share and focuses mainly on the Yangtze River delta area. Another player is Yaoyao with nine percent.
Update: Contrary to the Eguan report cited by Technode, Didi says it holds double the market share of Kuaide. Didi cites this report by iResearch Consulting Group.
Didi is backed by Chinese web titan Tencent (HKG:0700), which means the battle for the country’s taxi apps will go down between two of its biggest web companies.
But Tencent isn’t the only ace up Didi’s sleeve. The Beijing government, in an attempt to regulate such services, approved four taxi apps in August. All other taxi apps were declared illegal in the city. Didi and Yaoyao were among the four, but Kuaide didn’t make the cut, which gives Didi a rather unfair advantage in one of the country’s largest municipalities.
Nonetheless, Technode reports Kuaide has more than 20 million installs and 350,000 drivers covering 35 cities.
(Editing by Terence Lee)