Uber has raised $1.2bn for its expansion into China, with plans to launch the taxi app in 100 cities in the next year.
The move was announced in an interview with its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, published by Sina, a Chinese-language website.
The company already operates in 11 Chinese cities, but would like to see that number increase by 50 in a year. In a letter obtained by the Financial Times in June, Kalanick told investors that Uber’s Chinese riders were completing almost a million trips a day.
At the event Kalanick was keen to promote the company’s relationship with the Chinese government and their shared vision for the future. He said that progress was something that the government was “incredibly open to” in terms of “more jobs and less pollution, less congestion on the streets, better utilization of infrastructure,” and made use of some communist party rhetoric in saying the progress should be “in harmony with stability”.
He also discussed the company’s success so far, saying that “when we started this year, we were about one percent market share. Today, nine months later, we’re looking at about 30 to 35 percent market share”.
The comment remains somewhat unclear as it is not known weather this was in reference to all ride-hailing services including taxis, where Didi Kuaidi dominates, or just for private cars.