(Yicai Global) June 23 -- Poly Real Estate [SH:600048], China's fifth-largest property developer, is jumping on the sharing economy bandwagon with a CNY2.5 billion (USD380 million) investment in Didi Chuxing, valuing the nation's leading ride-hailing operator at about USD26 billion.
State-owned Poly Real Estate yesterday said it will take a 1.46 percent stake in Didi Chuxing through Zhuhai Lihui Fund, which the company set up two days earlier.
Didi and arch-competitor Uber Technologies Inc. are locked in a global battle for investment and market share. The rivalry between the two start-ups is fiercest in China where Didi's taxi-hailing app enjoys a near monopoly and its car-hailing service has a more than 80 percent market share. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in February that his company is losing USD1 billion a year competing with Didi, which itself also lost an estimated USD1 billion last year.
Guangzhou-based Poly Real Estate is one of several new investors including Apple Inc., Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group and China Life Insurance Co. that are taking part in a USD7.3 billion financing round for Didi Chuxing.
Didi Chuxing, which is headquarted in Beijing, aims to go public in New York next year, people familiar with the matter said last month. Existing investors include Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China Merchants Bank Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp.