Uber, the taxi hailing app has made rounds ever since they made inroads into Kampala with their Uber X service, receiving too much fun fare in the process. Questions rose up regarding the almost non-existent competition it was to fend off ,with no cash fueled local rival with a big war chest as Uber’s. The would-be competition instead joined hands with Uber and their fleet of cars is tying Kampala roads disguising as Uber contractors and no one else seems bold enough to take a fight with this American juggernaut.
I am a bit heretical about Uber’s future here but it now seems to be facing a smooth ride with its operations in Kampala and will continue to sail a tide free journey if its projected uptake reconciles with their investments if no rival surfaces.
Elsewhere, it is a different story with it facing Lyft on its home turf, Get in Europe, Easy Taxi in Latin-America, Grab in South East Asia and finally Didi in the People’s Republic of China.
Our particular interest is Didi Chuxing, its Chinese frenemy. New spreading like wildfire suggest Uber’s ship in China has finally hit the tides and anchored after a fierce and costly war with Didi that has now culminated into a takeover. Uber China has long played the underdog while battling Didi, bleeding cash in the process to a tune of $2 billion in the course of 2 years.
Uber has since thrown in the towel after letting go of its Chinese operations, which have now become part of the wider Didi. Uber will now merge with Didi and part with a 6% stake in latter.It joins domestic tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent in becoming Didi’s investors after the two foes called for quits and joined hands in a bid to turn a profit.
Uber’s CEO almost admitted that their rivalry with Didi hardly allowed them score any profit but prospects are high that the consolidation might turn things around. “Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term.” stressed Travis Kalanick.