Josh Horwitz from Quartz joined us to discuss the Uber and Didi deal in China and analysed the fallout that will impact the anti-Uber alliance. We discussed the potential reasons to why Uber sell their China business & operations to Didi and made a deal to let each other invest in one another, from investor intervention to the battle for the Asia regions from Southeast Asia to India and self driving cars. Last but not least, we look at the future of on demand ride hailing apps in the next 1-2 years.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Josh Horwitz, Writer from Quartz (@horwitzjosh, LinkedIn, Quartz)
  • Why Didi buy Uber China [1:30]
    • What are the actual terms of the deal? [1:41]
    • In Josh’s opinion, what actually happened? [2:55]
    • Will Uber China’s app merged with Didi? [5:50]
    • Why did Uber sell Uber China to Didi? [6:18]
      • Is it because of they are both bleeding, investor intervention as Uber & Didi share 3 common investors: Tiger, BlackRock, HillHouse and the drying up of money and investors? [6:45]
      • Is it because Uber really want to go to the other markets which are more open, for example Southeast Asia and India? [7:40]
      • Is it because Uber is fighting a losing war on regulation and local conditions in China? [8:47]
      • Is it because Uber is conserving cash to focus on the next phase on self-driving cars? [12:15]
    • With Uber’s China exit, reminiscent of Google and EBay and even Apple starting to soften, does it prove further that Western companies have no chance against China? [13:51] 
    • In Deal With Didi, Uber Frees Itself to Expand in Other Markets, what happened to the Anti-Uber Alliance, given Uber owns Didi in a way, and it’s now all a family but with fiefdoms across the regions? [21:12]
  • The impact to Grab [22:49]
    • Immediately, after the event, the Grab CEO issued a call to arms on Uber in Southeast Asia, in your opinion, what are the reasons behind that? Is it just a savvy PR move? [23:00]
    • Then we get leaks of a potential US$1B round for Grab from SoftBank and Didi, will Uber lose again? [23:30]
    • What are Grab’s chances against Uber? [25:03]
  • How about Ola?  
  • What will be the future of on-demand transportation in the next 1-2 years? [27:12]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack. 

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