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Josh Horwitz, writer at Quartz

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

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Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong is a weekly podcast dedicated to the pulse of technology, business & media in Asia. They interview thought leaders and leading industry players and gain their insights to how we perceive and understand the market. Analyse Asia is a content partner of TechNode.

Notes:

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

  • Josh Horwitz, Writer from 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 merge with Didi’s? [5:50]
    • Why did Uber sell Uber China to Didi? [6:18]
      • Is it because of them are bleeding cash, investor intervention as Uber and Didi share 3 common investors (Tiger, BlackRock, HillHouse), and/or the drying up of money and investors? [6:45]
      • Is it because Uber really wants to go to 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 of self-driving cars? [12:15]
    • With Uber’s China exit, reminiscent of Google and ebay and even Apple, does it further prove that Western companies have no chance in 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 are Ola’s chances against Uber? [26:20]
    • How is Uber plan to avoid getting Didi-ed in India?
  • What will be the future of on-demand transportation in the next 1 to 2 years? [27:12]