Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-hailing app, is in talks with its largest shareholder SoftBank and other potential investors about raising fresh capital for its autonomous driving business, people familiar with the matter said.
The discussions aren’t finalized and may not necessarily result in a deal, the people said. The talks are part of an emerging trend of ride-hailing companies and automakers around the world bringing more outside investors into their autonomous-driving operations. Those companies have realized that it will take a lot more time and money to develop a cost-effective, driverless vehicle than they initially anticipated, so they have looked for new strategic partners and financial investors to bankroll the research. The hope is that the self-driving car units would eventually be spun off to become separate entities and give outside investors a payoff.