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CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) Student Reveals How Didi Kuaidi Is Beating Uber

In the US and Europe, people hear a lot about Uber. But in China, a different company is out front in the race to provide Web-based ride-hailing services. Jonathan Krim, global technology editor for The Wall Street Journal, sat down with current CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) student at CKGSB, Liu Qing, president of Didi Kuaidi, the biggest car-sharing and taxi-hailing service in China, to discuss where the company is headed.

 

 

CKGSB Business Scholar Program (DBA) student Liu Qing speaks to Wall Street Journal’s global technology editor,

Jonathan Krim, at the Converge technology conference in Hong Kong

 

MR. KRIM: Reportedly your company is raising funds at a valuation of about $15 billion. Tell us about the Chinese market and why investors are feeling like that’s a good move.

 

MS. LIU: A lot of people are putting money into us. They have huge confidence in us and also in China’s transportation market. In the past few years people have a better [experience] to shop, to go have fun, to watch a movie. But there’s one thing that people suffer every day, which is to commute.

 

There are 800 million urban people in China. And people couldn’t find a taxi because of the shortage. If you drive, driving’s no fun at all. You’ll be locked in front of your wheel because of the traffic. And if you really want to try a bus or a subway, you need to be a really strong man or aggressive woman to get on and to squeeze in.

 

A lot of times after the ride you will feel you have just finished a boxing workout. And if you ride a bicycle last year in Beijing there were 175 heavy smog days. So you probably need to wear a medical-grade face mask to go ride a bicycle. So people are not happy about it.

Transportation needs to be transformed with technology.

 

To read the edited transcript of the discussion and watch the video interview, please visit the Wall Street Journal’s website here. Additional WSJ coverage on Liu Qing can be found here.