Why Uber has been taken for a ride in China

The big news last week was that Uber, the California-based ride-hailing company, threw in the towel in China. It announced that its Chinese rival, Didi Chuxing, would acquire all of the assets of UberChina – including its brand, business operations and data. In return, Uber gets a stake in Didi Chuxing worth £5.3bn.Why is this significant? How long have you got? In the first place it confirms that the plans for world domination cherished by all the US-based tech giants come to a juddering halt when they reach the Chinese border. China is already the world’s biggest internet market, and it’s set to get much bigger in the next decade, so Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft saw it as the logical next territory for conquest. Three of them – Google, Amazon and Microsoft – have already had to withdraw, licking their wounds. (Facebook never really got started.)

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