China's 2 biggest ride-hailing apps to merge

China's 2 biggest ride-hailing apps to merge

SHANGHAI - The planned merger of China's two biggest taxi-hailing smartphone app providers is set to change the face of the market, throwing a spotlight on what strategies the new entity uses to maintain its dominance.

Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, which together hold nearly all of the market, announced the news Saturday.

The deal stops fruitless competition from dragging on and, by saving time and money, enables the duo to break into new businesses, Kuaidi Chief Executive Officer Dexter Chuanwei Lu said in a message to employees, according to Chinese media.

They also wanted to avoid being caught up in the online market's fiercest competition, Didi CEO Wei Cheng said.

Kuaidi and Didi have competed since their establishment in May and June of 2012, respectively, offering discounts to both drivers and riders in a bid to capture customers. Internet services giant Alibaba Group took a stake in Kuaidi and backed it financially, while rival Tencent Holdings did the same for Didi.

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