Chinese Automaker GAC Group Joins Uber China as Strategic Investor

December 22, 2015, 9:27 PM UTC
Baidu Launches "AI-powered Digital Assistant" Duer In Beijing
BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 08: (CHINA OUT) Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber Technologies, attends the launching conference of Baidu's AI-powered digital assistant "Duer" during the 2015 Baidu Technology Innovation Conference on September 8, 2015 in Beijing, China. Li said: "the new digital assistant "Duer" that will be integrated into its latest mobile search app and use artificial intelligence to tailor suggestions to a user's tastes" and it also already handle requests for restaurant bookings and food delivery, pet grooming services and film ticket sales. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Photograph by ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Uber’s China-based business has received a new cash infusion from GAC Group, a Chinese automaker, the company said on Tuesday.

Though Uber declined to share the size of the investment, it seems the relationship is mostly strategic. As part of the deal, Uber China will “promote GAC’s range of new automobiles and its second-hand car trading platform to Uber driver partners and partner car leasing companies,” the company said in a statement. GAC is also planning a big push into energy efficient and electric vehicles in the next five years, an area Uber could help promote.

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As for Uber, it still faces challenges in China, where local rival Didi Kuaidi still claims a majority of the market. Uber plans to expand to a total of 100 Chinese cities, and has raised $1.2 billion to help it reach its goal. GAC is joining Baidu, often referred to as “China’s Google,” as the latest local, strategic and financial partner Uber hopes will help in its quest to grow in China.

WATCH: For more on how Uber has lined up investors, watch this Fortune video.

On the other hand, Didi Kuaidi has raised more than $4 billion in total funding from Chinese giants like Tencent and Alibaba, and completes roughly seven million rides per day in China, seven times as many as Uber.

And not content to stand pat in China, Didi Kuaidi also recently teamed up with Lyft in the U.S., Ola in India, and GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia, to form a ride-hailing network the companies hope can fight off Uber in their respective markets.

(An earlier version stated that Didi Kuaidi completes three million rides per day instead of seven million. The story has been updated.)

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