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Didi's ride hailing rival Cao Cao raises US$600 million to expand

BEIJING : Geely's Cao Cao Mobility said on Monday that it had raised 3.8 billion yuan (US$589 million) to fund expansion, amid competition to grab market share from China's embattled ride hailing leader Didi Global Inc.

Cao Cao's funding round comes as New York-listed Didi faces a cybersecurity investigation by Chinese authorities. Along with other ride hailing companies, including Meituan's, Cao Cao is offering promotions to attract more users.

Cao Cao, which was launched in 2015, said in a statement it will use the money to develop technology, expand its business, and develop its own purpose-built vehicles for ride hailing.

Chinese regulators are urging ride hailing companies to hire qualified drivers to comply with relevant rules and protect data security.

Cao Cao operates in 62 cities and its monthly active users reached 10 million in July, up from 5.67 million last year.

Its name is based on that of a famous ancient Chinese general nicknamed Jili, which are the same characters as Geely written in Mandarin.

Regulators have frequently held talks with the ride hailing industry, which offers tens of millions of rides a day in China, on topics including driver salaries and safety.

(US$1 = 6.4560 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: Reuters

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