Photograph by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
By Kia Kokalitcheva
June 13, 2016

Didi Chuxing, Uber’s main rival in China, might be tailing the ride-hailing giant a little too close for comfort.

On Monday, Didi Chuxing announced it has received a $600 million investment from China Life Insurance, the country’s largest state-owned commercial insurance conglomerate and an investor in Uber’s Chinese business. The investment includes a $300 million equity investment, along with about $305 million in debt financing. The companies plan to work on insurance and other financial program that are mutually beneficial, though they didn’t disclose further details.

China Life’s money is part of a large round Didi is in the midst of raising, which could be as large as $3.5 billion and push the company’s valuation to $26 billion or more. Last month, Didi disclosed it had raised $1 billion from Apple as part of this current round.

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Earlier this month, Uber revealed it had raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund, drawing heavy criticism over its decision given the country’s prohibition on women driving cars.

China Life joins a couple of other investors who have invested in both Uber and at least one of its rivals, four of which (Lyft, Didi, Ola, and Grab) announced an alliance last fall to let their respective customers use each other’s services. Hillhouse Capital has invested in Uber as well as Didi and Grab, according to CB Insights. In December, Tiger Global, already an investor in Didi, Grab, and Ola, was reportedly investing in Uber.

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China has become the latest battleground for the ride-hailing wars. Since announcing last year that it will heavily invest in its Chinese operations, Uber has been quite focused on growing its business there, spending $1 billion per year. Nevertheless, the company is still lagging behind Didi in marketshare.


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