Uber will hold 5.89% share of Didi’s stock equity, equaling 17.7% share of the economic interests. UberChina’s other shareholders will gain a combined 2.3% share of economic interests.

On July 28, 2016, China’s Ministry of Transport released the “Interim Regulations for operations and service of online-hailing taxies”, declaring the legitimacy of online-hailing cars, which is also the world’s first regulation for online-hailing cars at national level.

Under such settings, Didi Chuxing announced on August 1 that it would strike up a strategic partnership with Uber, merging all the Chinese assets of UberChina including brands, businesses, data, etc. This milestone deal shows that China’s ride-sharing industry has marched into a brand-new stage.

It is said that the value of the combined new firm is estimated at $35 billion. Didi will invest $1 billion into UberChina, with Uber’s value estimated as $68 billion. After the agreement is reached, Didi Chuxing and Uber will hold each other’s stocks, and become each other’s small shareholder. Uber will receive 5.89% of Didi’s stake, equaling 17.7% share of the economic interests; while UberChina’s other shareholders will gain a combined 2.3% share of economic interests.

What is the value of Uber’s patent family?

Search results of the Derwent Database show that Uber has applied 212 patents globally up to August 1, 2016. It also bought a batch of patents from Software and decarta. Analysis shows that Uber significantly increased its patent application efforts after 2012, with its patents mainly in US, China, Europe, Canada and Australia. Its patents mainly covers positioning for on-demand services, data processing, screen display, charging system, precise positioning, dynamic geographic position search, etc. The patents purchased from Software mainly covers image identification, light tracking, 3D image processing etc. Uber has already considered the application and gradual popularization of self-driving technology.

Uber started to apply patents and plan its patent portfolio since entering China in 2013. By August 1, 2016, it has already applied 12 patents in China, mainly covering positioning system, customer demand forecasting, laser radar positioning, position point data determination, UI, split fare, Segway, charging point based on cloud platform, self-driving, etc. It is evident that Uber’s patent portfolio in China has considered ride-sharing and apps like “the first km” and “the last km” that help to cover users’ entire trip with Segway. What’s more, Uber’s US patents have touched logistics and distribution (US20150371157A1), indicating Uber’s intention to integrate the entire industry chain, providing all-inclusive travel service to users. Analysis on its patent portfolio also reveals that Uber is dominating product upgrade by way of computerized methods, allocation methods and payment methods on the basis of storage platform, which forms its advancing plan for future application.

Didi’s patent portfolio

By August 1, 2016, Didi Chuxing has applied over 120 patents, 12 of which are applied in the name of Didi China Technology Ltd. and Didi Chuxing Technology Ltd. Its patents mainly covers app UI, information push, order processing, traffic dispatch, smart lock, riding status forecast, etc.

Strategic planning after the merger

After the merger with UberChina, Didi Chuxing will stepping up its pace of globalization in terms of human resource structure, technical storage, business planning and patent portfolio. 

Apart from wining over domestic resources, Didi will also move further into other emerging overseas mobile transportation markets, where Uber has already had applied patents, such as Japan, South Korea, Europe and Russia.

Didi’s CEO, Qing Liu, said that to compete at a global level in areas like AI and big data, Didi has set up R&D centers in Silicon, and is planning to open similar centers in UK and Russia, so as to recruit top-class talents all over the world. She also noted that there is still much room for improvement in patent strategy, patent portfolios and patent numbers.