本文摘要:This time last year, Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick was on the road raising money for Uber China, seeking to conquer a market that he called “one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber”.去年这个时候,优步(Uber)首席执行官兹拉维斯卡兰尼克(Travis Kalanick)正在风尘仆仆地为优步中国(Uber China)筹资,谋求夺下中国市场,他形容这个市场是“对优步而言仅次于的未研发机遇之一”。

This time last year, Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick was on the road raising money for Uber China, seeking to conquer a market that he called “one of the largest untapped opportunities for Uber”.去年这个时候,优步(Uber)首席执行官兹拉维斯卡兰尼克(Travis Kalanick)正在风尘仆仆地为优步中国(Uber China)筹资,谋求夺下中国市场,他形容这个市场是“对优步而言仅次于的未研发机遇之一”。Mr Kalanick was personally overseeing Uber’s growth in China and travelled there extensively, spending nearly one in five days in the country last year. He announced plans for Uber to expand to 50 cities, and then to 100.卡兰尼克特地监督优步在中国的茁壮,他多次前往中国,去年有将近五分之一时间在中国童年。他宣告涉及计划,白鱼分阶段把优步扩展至50个城市和100个城市。However, Uber’s abrupt decision to sell its Chinese unit to its rival Didi Chuxing highlights the extremely costly battle that was raging behind the scenes. Both companies were pouring money into subsidies for drivers and riderspassengers to gain market share, with Uber spending more than $1bn annually.然而,优步忽然要求将其中国业务单位出售给竞争对手滴滴上下班(Didi Chuxing),凸显了幕后进行的代价极为高昂的角力。

为了夺得市场份额,两家公司都投放大笔资金补贴司机和乘客,其中优步每年开支10亿美元以上。The peace agreement between the two bitter rivals — in which Uber will take a stake in Didi, and Didi in Uber — marks the first time Uber has thrown in the towel in any of its global markets.根据两个死对头之间的和平协议,优步和滴滴将互相股权。

该协议标志着优步首次在一个海外市场认输告退。Selling Uber China, which had the heaviest losses of any Uber unit, is a step that puts Uber within reach of profitability, and clears the way for the company to focus on its ambitious tech-nology projects such as mapping, delivery and driverless cars.出售优步中国(此前其忍受着优步所有经营单位中最惨烈的损失)是让优步迈进盈利的一步,并为该公司探讨于雄心勃勃的技术项目(如测绘、寄送和无人驾驶汽车)扫除了道路。The deal also points to the start of a new era for ride sharing: a period in which consolidation, rather than expansion, may become the rule of the day.这笔交易还指向一个拼车新时代的开始,在这个时代,统合(而非扩展)有可能沦为主流。

Over the past two years, an unprecedented glut of capital has poured into ride-hailing companies around the world, fuelling stiff competition between duplicate services.过去两年期间,空前大量的资本被投放世界各地的网约车企业,引起了雷同服务之间的白热化竞争。Uber and Didi have been the two most aggressive fundraisers, achieving a collective $25bn between them, much of that within the last year.优步和滴滴是近期两个最大力的筹资人,构建了250亿美元的筹资总额,其中大部分在过去一年筹得。

Because ride hailing is a winner-take-all market — one in which the company with the most drivers and riderspassengers gains the advantage — many companies have been pouring their venture funding into deep subsidies for passengersusers.由于网约车是一个赢家通吃的市场(享有最多司机和乘客的公司具备优势),因此许多公司把自己的风险资金投入面向乘客的高额补贴。However, now that Uber and Didi have ended their rivalry in China, admitting that these subsidy wars are unsustainable even for the most well capitalised companies, others are more likely to follow. Pressure will be particularly high on Lyft, which is Uber’s smaller competitor in the US, and on Ola, which is locked in a heavily subsidised fight with Uber in India.然而,既然优步和滴滴取消了它们在中国的死磕,否认这些补贴战争不可持续(就连资本最充裕的公司也不值得注意),那么其它公司更加有可能效仿。受到较小压力的公司将还包括优步在美国的规模较小的竞争对手Lyft,以及正在印度与优步大打补贴战的Ola。


The Uber-Didi deal also shows it will be much harder for investors in second-place ride-hailing companies to make the same outsized returns as those promised by the market leaders.优步与滴滴达成协议的交易也指出,比起市场领军者的诱人前景,正处于第二位的网约车公司的投资者更加无以获得某种程度超大的报酬。In return for Uber China, Uber is receiving a stake in Didi with a new class of shares that promises 18 per cent of the economic interest and 6 per cent of the voting rights.出售优步中国后,优步将取得一类新的滴滴股票,这部分股权将带给18%的经济权益和6%的投票权。

That equity stake is worth around $5bn, depending on how the economic interest is counted, based on Didi’s most recent fundraising at $28bn. Uber China’s other investors also receive a small stake.根据近期一轮筹资使滴滴超过的280亿美元估值,这部分股权价值大约50亿美元,各不相同如何计算出来得出结论经济权益。优步中国的其他投资者也获得小笔股份。The terms could be considered a let-down, given that Uber has invested more than $2bn of its own money into its China operations, and had previously cited a $7bn valuation for its Uber China unit (The other investors in Uber China, including Baidu, will collectively receive an equity stake of less than 1 per cent in Didi).这些条款有可能被视作令人沮丧,因为优步应向在华业务投放逾20亿美元自有资金,且之前提及优步中国的估值超过70亿美元。

优步中国的其他投资者——还包括百度(Baidu)——总共将取得滴滴将近1%的股权。However, the deal does provide a graceful exit, after a period in which it had become increasingly clear that Uber was unlikely to win in China.然而,这笔交易显然获取了一条体面的后路,此前一段时期更加显著的是,优步不太可能在中国落败。

When Uber first entered the market in 2014, Mr Kalanick said its underdog position was part of the appeal.当优步在2014年首次转入中国市场时,卡兰尼克曾称之为其弱势地位是吸引力的一部分。“Anytime we got into a discussion about our efforts in China, most people thought we were naive, crazy — or both,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Mondayyesterday. “We saw things differently of course.”“每当我们被接踵而来一场关于我们在华希望的辩论,多数人指出我们要么愚蠢,要么傻了,或两者兼而有之,”他周一在Facebook发帖写到,“那时我们当然有有所不同的观点。

”However, Uber’s task in China became much harder when China’s two largest car-hailing companies, Didi and Kuaidi, merged early last year. Didi and Kuaidi had been locked in fierce competition with each other, but after the merger, they focused their firepower squarely on Uber.然而,当中国仅次于的两家网约车企业——滴滴和慢的(Kuaidi)——在去年初拆分后,优步在中国的任务显得艰难得多。之前滴滴和慢的彼此进行白热化竞争,但在拆分后,它们集中于火力对付优步。Uber responded by pouring more subsidies into the market, prompting a surge in rides that pushed several Chinese cities to become Uber’s busiest anywhere in the world.优步的对此是向市场投放更加多补贴,促成上下班量剧增,推展中国的几个城市沦为优步在全球业务最挤迫的市场。


But even after years of rapid growth, Uber was still no match for Didi, which operates in more than 400 Chinese cities and runs 100m rides per week. Uber is in 60 cities and serves 40m rides per week.但是,即使在经过多年的快速增长后,优步还是敌不过滴滴,后者在400多个中国城市运营,每周获取1亿次上下班。优步在60个中国城市运营,每周获取4000万次上下班。Even more importantly, Didi’s extraordinary round of recent fundraising made it clear that the company had the financial firepower to keep matching whatever subsidies Uber might pour into China.更加最重要的是,滴滴超高金额的近期一轮筹资指出,该公司享有强劲资金实力,需要持续相媲美优步有可能投放中国的无论多少补贴。

In June, the company raised $7bn from investors in equity and debt, including an unusual $1bn investment from Apple. Not to be outdone, Uber raised $3.5bn from Saudi Arabia’s private wealth fund and issued $1.15bn in high-yield debt.今年6月,该公司通过股份和债务从投资者处筹资70亿美元,还包括来自苹果(Apple)的不奇怪的10亿美元投资。不甘落后的优步从沙特阿拉伯的主权财富基金筹资35亿美元,并发售了11.5亿美元的高收益债券。

However the final straw might have been China’s ride-hailing regulations, which formally legalised the practice just last week.然而,折断优步的最后一根稻草有可能是中国的网约车法规,《网络购票出租汽车经营服务管理暂行办法》上周月将网约车服务合法化。While those rules were much more permissive than previous versions, and were openly welcomed by both Uber and Didi, they also contained a clause that prohibited rides from operating below cost, effectively banning subsidies. That would have upended Uber’s current model in China.虽然这些规则比以往的版本尊重得多,并获得优步和滴滴两家的公开发表青睐,但它们也还包括一条禁令以高于成本的费用获取上下班的规定,实质上禁令了补贴作法。此举将取消优步当前在中国实施的模式。The rules also gave cities more control over ride-sharing, a step that could potentially make expansion to new cities more cumbersome.这些规则也让各城市对拼车服务享有更大控制权,此举有可能使扩展转入新的城市显得更为繁复。

Talks of a deal between Didi and Uber grew serious in recent weeks, after Didi’s war chest had been filled. Pressure also mounted from Uber’s investors, concerned that the company would spend too much money on a fight it could not win, according to a person close to the situation.滴滴已完成近期一轮筹资后,有关滴滴和优步有可能达成协议交易的众说纷纭在最近几周显得严肃一起。一名知情人士透漏,来自优步投资者的压力也大大蓄积,他们担忧该公司在一场打不输掉的战争中烧毁过于多资金。The terms of the agreement suggest not only a financial transaction but also a strategic alliance, with both companies taking seats on each other’s boards. This puts Didi in the unusual position of being an investor in both Uber and in Lyft, in which it took a stake last year.协议条款或许指出,这不仅是一笔财务交易,也是一个战略联盟,这两家公司都在对方的董事会取得席位。

这使得滴滴正处于既是优步投资者、也是Lyft投资者的不奇怪地位;滴滴在去年大股东Lyft。A key question in its new alliance with Didi will be how closely the former rivals will work together. This could be particularly delicate if Didi decides to expand outside China, which is currently its only market.优步与滴滴之间新的联盟的一个关键问题是,这两个宿敌将以何种紧密程度合作。如果滴滴要求扩展至中国(目前这是其唯一市场)以外,这个问题有可能尤其错综复杂。

For Uber, the deal draws a line under a period of subsidy-fuelled expansion that Mr Kalanick described as “irrational”. It will also free up resources for the company to focus on new tech-nology investments. A more rational era could be about to begin.对于优步,这笔交易为卡兰尼克所称的“非理性”的补贴助推的扩展时期所画上句号。它将让该公司留出资源专心于新技术方面的投资。一个更加理性的时代有可能将要开始。