China's Didi Kuaidi taps Yahoo co-founder and Alibaba investor Jerry Yang

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 07, 2015 11:19 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ride hailing service Didi Kuaidi, Uber Technologies Inc's chief rival in China, said on Tuesday it had appointed Yahoo Inc co-founder and Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd investor Jerry Yang as a board observer and senior adviser.

Yang's new positions at Didi Kuaidi add a new link in the cobweb of relations between the Chinese ride hailing company and its investors, Alibaba and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.

Yang, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son all sit on the board of Alibaba. SoftBank was also an early investor in both Yahoo and the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, and the three men maintain close ties.

Their "bromance" has now been extended to Didi Kuaidi, the biggest ride hailing rival to U.S. $62 billion start-up Uber [UBER.UL].

SoftBank also owns stakes in other ride-hailing services that have forged a global anti-Uber alliance, namely India's Ola and Southeast Asia's GrabTaxi. Didi Kuaidi and Alibaba also own stakes in the U.S. arm of this faction, Lyft.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)