Case Study

Uber takes on China

15 pages
June 2016
Reference: IMD-7-1807

The case study is set in May 2016. It highlights the challenges that Uber faces in the Chinese ride-hailing market. Despite publicly stating that China is its number one global priority, Uber has struggled in the country. Uber learned from the failure of many Western firms in China. It installed local management, adapted its service offering to local market needs, and invested heavily to develop the market. Yet, despite these efforts, Uber is struggling at the time of the case to make an impact in China. The case describes Uber’s China strategy, along with the response of local Chinese competitor Didi Chuxing. The two companies are in an all-out war for control of the ride-hailing market in China, and Uber looks to be losing.

Learning Objective

The case offers an opportunity for students to understand strategy in the Chinese context, where speed and scale are the main factors for success. They will learn how to manage a business situation in a new and emerging market, in which local incumbents exist. Students will consider the strategic options for companies facing tough competition by reviewing and analyzing Uber and Didi Chuxing’s offerings and strategies.

Business Model
Asia, China
Uber, Didi Chuxing, Logistics and Supply Chain, Transportation
August 2013-May 2016
Published Sources
© 2016
Available Languages
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