Alibaba and Tencent are probably the last company’s you’d expect to join forces but that’s exactly what the two Chinese web giants are doing with their respective cab-hailing apps, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache. The two have been united by a common enemy, one that has become the enemy of pretty much every taxi-related business out there: Uber. In order to better combat the ride-sharing app, the two companies will be merging their apps.
In a shock move, China’s two biggest taxi-hailing apps, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, earlier today announced their merger. It’s surprising not only because the new company will have an almost total monopoly on the market, but also because it’s a very rare instance of a partnership between Alibaba and Tencent, two of China’s three biggest web giants. Alibaba first put money into Kuaidi Dache in 2013, the same year Tencent invested in Didi Dache. That turned the taxi apps into a new front in the battle between Alibaba and Tencent, which stretches across ecommerce, epayments, and social media. By the start of 2014, both Alibaba and Tencent ramped up the taxi-booking battle by incorporating the respective services in their own apps – Alibaba placing Kuaidi Dache inside the Alipay Wallet app, and Tencent injecting Didi Dache into messaging app WeChat.