William Bao Bean

Competition in China is bloody and fierce, but as the Chinese internet companies go global, also China’s internet wars go global, says William Bao Bean, partner at SOSV to FTChinese. Didi taking on Brazil’s 99, its home-grown taxi-hailing app, it a telling sign.


“The focus for the partnership with 99 is on developing the enormous, untapped potentials of Brazilian and Latin American markets,” said Didi, adding that it has “a very firm commitment to a globalisation strategy”.

“The war on one front is now being fought everywhere, globally,” said William Bao Bean, partner at SOSV, the Chinese software start-up accelerator. “Before it was fine to be the top app in China or in the US. That’s no longer enough for Uber or Didi.”

Didi has also invested in Lyft, Uber’s main US rival, as well as GrabTaxi, which is popular in Southeast Asia. The three car-sharing apps are part of a global anti-Uber alliance in which users of one app can hail the others’ cars when travelling abroad.

More in FTChinese.

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