FILE Image: Symbol of Didi Chuxing is noticed at its headquarters creating in Beijing, China August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

May perhaps 29, 2020

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Didi Chuxing reported on Friday it experienced done a fundraising spherical of about $500 million for its autonomous driving subsidiary that was led by SoftBank Group’s <9984.T> Eyesight Fund 2.

The ridehailing huge stated in a statement the spherical marked the very first time Didi’s autonomous driving company experienced introduced in external funding since it turned a standalone unit previous 12 months and was also the single largest fundraising spherical in China’s self-driving sector.

Didi explained it would use the funds to invest further in the investigate and enhancement of autonomous driving technological know-how as properly as testing, and accelerate the deployment of autonomous driving services.

Didi has gained open-highway testing licences in California, Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, it stated. It initially began to establish and examination autonomous driving cars in 2016.

The fundraising will come as SoftBank has been advertising off other stakes to raise hard cash for stock buybacks aimed at supporting the cost of its shares as its tech investments falter. Some of the Japanese firm’s investments, together with Uber and Indian-dependent lodge chain Oyo, have been vastly impacted by lockdowns in the coronavirus pandemic.

Autonomous driving technology has remained well known with traders even amid the pandemic. Waymo, the self-driving device of Alphabet Inc this month raised an added $750 million in its initially exterior investment spherical, although China’s lifted $462 million from investors led by Toyota Motor <7203.T> in February.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh Extra Reporting by Yilei Solar enhancing by Jason Neely and David Evans)


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