Travel agency, Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), invested USD 500 Million into China’s largest ride-hailing
Company, Didi Chuxing, on Tuesday. The deal will have Booking integrate and offer on-demand
car services through its Booking.com apps, while Didi Chuxing customers will be able to book
hotels through Booking.com and Agoda.com.
According to a TechCrunch report, the deal’s primary focus isn’t about money. Didi Chuxing
publicly announced it had Billions of dollars for use after a USD 4 Billion funding round at the
end of 2017. The deal was intended to be a strategic move for expansion. Booking also operates
sites KAYAK, Priceline.com, Rentacars.com, and OpenTable which benefit Didi Chuxing’s goal for global expansion from ride-hailing to the go-to platform for travel, having launched services in Mexico, Australia, and Taiwan in 2018 so far. It additionally acquired Uber competitors in other markets, including Brazil’s 99, India’s Ola, Singapore’s Grab, and U.S.’s Lyft, and it announced plans to expand into Japan.
Vice President of Strategy for Didi Chuxing, Stephen Zhu, stated, “Building on its leadership and expertise in the global online travel market, Booking is championing a digital revolution of
travel experience. We look forward to seamlessly connecting every segment of the journey and
improving everyone’s traveling experience through more collaborative innovation with the
Booking brands on product, technology and market development.”
Didi Chuxing also appear to let go some of its car services. In a Reuters report, Didi Chuxing’s car rental, sales, maintenance, sharing and gas services businesses could be spun off ahead of an
IPO in a deal worth up to USD 1.5 Billion. The reasoning is that an IPO, in its planning stages,
would go smoother without asset-heavy businesses included.
Booking is currently valued at over USD 97 Billion, while Didi Chuxing is valued at USD 56 Billion and expected to launch an IPO in the near future. Booking has users and partners in about 220 countries and Didi Chunxing’s 550 Million users are based in China.