Despite the ubiquity of Uber on the mainland, CEO Travis Kalanick reported on Monday that the company is suffering losses of more than a billion every year in China. Godspeed.
At Vancouver’s Launch Academy, Kalanick complained about the way of business in China that calls, apparently, for mass fundraising and over-investing to secure market share. Whatever that means. Here’s how Kalanick put it:
We are profitable in the US, but in China we’re losing over a billion dollars a year.
Look, we’re in China where we have a fierce competitor [Didi Kuaidi] who is raising billions of dollars, but is unprofitable in every city that they exist in. The question for us is do we want to exist in China or not, and can we contain the irrational long enough to get to the point where the world does get rational.
I wish the world wasn’t that way, because I prefer building versus fundraising.
So far Uber China has managed to raise $1 billion or so and is valued at eight times that. Uber itself boasts upwards of $8 billion in funds.
At any rate, the company appears to be doing well enough to have significantly pissed off rival taxi drivers as well as local governments — the grass is always greener.