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China's Uber rival Didi Chuxing raises US$600m from China Life Insurance

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The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters in Beijing, China on May 18, 2016. Chinese car-hailing app Didi Chuxing said on Monday it had received an investment of about US$600 million from China Life Insurance Co Ltd, boosting resources to fund its battle with Uber just a month after it raised $1 billion from Apple Inc.

[BEIJING] Chinese car-hailing app Didi Chuxing said on Monday it had received an investment of about US$600 million from China Life Insurance Co Ltd, boosting resources to fund its battle with Uber just a month after it raised US$1 billion from Apple Inc.

The latest fund-raising comes with China's top ride-hailing company locked in a struggle to fend off its global rival's march into China. Uber raised US$3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund in new resources earlier this month.

The investment by China Life - the largest insurer in the Asia-Pacific region by market value - included equity of US$300 million and a long-term borrowing commitment of US$305 million, the companies said in a statement. "The two parties will also collaborate on investment opportunities in mobile transportation and related sectors in China and beyond," the statement said.

Apple invested US$1 billion in May in Didi, a move that Apple chief executive Tim Cook said would help his company better understand the critical Chinese market.

Didi and Uber have spent heavily to subsidise fares to gain market share in China, raising speculation in local media that they might ultimately join forces. Didi itself teamed up with a former local rival last year.

Prior to the China Life investment, the company had raised about US$6.3 billion including funding rounds before and after it became a merged company, according to research firm CB Insights.

In May, sources told Reuters that Didi, which completes more than 11 million rides a day, was working towards in initial public offering in the United States that would likely take place in 2018.

REUTERS