Talk that Uber was selling its China business to Didi Chuxing had circulated internally at Uber for a couple of weeks before it was announced on Monday. For many of UberChina’s 800 employees, though, confirmation came in a more jarring way. When they got to work on Monday, they couldn’t get access to their Uber email and other Uber software tools.
At the same time, at Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco, the engineers and data scientists who had supported UberChina were told not to speak to their China-based colleagues about work anymore because they now effectively belonged to Didi. In Uber’s view, Didi remains a global rival, according to a person familiar with Uber’s thinking. (The sale closed shortly after the announcement.)