The Chinese ride-hailing group has spun out its autonomous driving unit

Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing group, has spun out its autonomous driving unit as an independent business as the lossmaking company attempts to raise funds with a “capital winter” unsettling technology companies across the country. The new as-yet unnamed company will give potential investors further access to a technology drawing huge interest globally. Uber and Waymo in the US are investing heavily in the sector, while Didi is also facing competition in its home market from Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu… Didi’s autonomous driving unit was established in 2016 and has more than 200 employees developing and testing self-drivingcars in China and in the US, where it received a permit to conduct tests in California last year… Didi, which was valued at $56 billion in January, is reportedly attempting to raise up to $2 billion from investors at the same price it did more than 12 months ago… a fundraising that comes at a difficult time for tech companies in China. Valuations for “late-stage” Chinese tech start-ups are down 20 to 30 per cent this year from their peaks in the first half of last year, as trade tensions between Beijing and Washington and waning investor appetite for lossmaking companies unsettle the sector. 

Mercedes Ruehl