It seems that the epic merger between Didi Chuxing and Uber China is not going to end the fundraising spree in China’s ride-hailing industry.
After countless financing rounds, Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hail startup, just received another $119.9 million USD from Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics.
The news was revealed in a stock exchange filling by Foxconn under their trading name, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. The investment was made through its subsidiary Foxtec Holdings for a 0.355% stake in Didi Chuxing at a valuation of $33.7 billion USD.
As one of the most highly valued startups in China, Didi’s star-studded investor list includes a growing number of global tech giants from locals Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, to global ones such as Apple and Uber. The Chinese government is also an investor via their sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp.
The name Foxconn often draws connection to Apple, one of Foxconn’s largest clients, which also poured $1 billion USD in Didi this May. Although it is still unclear whether Apple facilitated Foxconn’s investment or whether there is a possible collaboration plan between the smartphone icon, manufacturer and ride-hailing company, the tie-up definitely unites their ambitions in the auto industry.
Foxconn has already worked with modeling, circuiting and batteries for automobiles. It’s also the manufacturer for some of the components used by Tesla.
Together with Tencent and China Harmony Auto, Foxconn established an internet car company, Harmony Futeng (和谐富腾), this year. To take on the car sales boom in China, the joint venture operates two subsidiaries: Future Mobility, a high-end smart car project and Aiche, a consumer electric vehicle company.
At the same time, Apple is also working on its own smart car project that involves a few hundred employees.
For Didi Chuxing, investors with a global presence may ease the way for a global expansion. Like Apple’s May investment, neither company have divulged what the strategic partnership could potentially involve.
“Foxconn is a global electronics and mobile technology leader. With the support of Foxconn and other value investors home and abroad, DiDi will continue to push the frontier of innovation for the mobile transportation market and create ever stronger driver and rider communities.”said Didi in a statement.