Last fall, Sequoia Capital China, the Silicon Valley VC firm’s affiliate led by investor Neil Shen, pledged to invest $400 million in a new funding round for Full Truck Alliance, China’s “Uber for trucks.”
Days later, Zhang Lei, the rival head of private-equity giant Hillhouse Capital Group, flew to Nanjing, met Full Truck’s CEO over dinner and arranged a $110 million investment in the same round, according to a person familiar with the matter. Securing the deal wasn’t enough for Zhang’s firm. Hillhouse asked Full Truck to feature its name more prominently in the press release for the deal. But Full Truck put Sequoia before Hillhouse, based on the relative sizes of their investments.