The head of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, which famously forced Uber Technologies to retreat from the mainland market, is preparing for another vicious price-war, the South China Morning Post reports.
“If you want war, you will get war,” said Cheng Wei, the co-founder and chief executive of Didi Chuxing, in a recent interview with Caijing Magazine.
Cheng’s feisty quote, which echoed 12th-century Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan, came in response to news that rival tech giant Meituan-Dianping plans to expand into the ride-hailing industry in several Chinese cities, offering big discounts to consumers and rebates to drivers.
Didi, whose backers include Apple, Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings, was itself born from a merger between two rival ride-hailing companies that had engaged in a ruinous price war, which at one point went as far as giving consumers free rides to win market share.
After this truce, the combined entity took on Uber, which pulled out of China in 2016 in return for a minority stake in its Chinese rival. “Didi has withstood the fiercest competition in history, from Kuaidi to Uber. We have PK’ed countless rivals,” said Cheng, using a term from internet gaming. “Meituan may not be the weakest, but it may not be the strongest either.”