$1 billion annual losses are slowing Uber down in China

Uber
Uber may be one of the biggest, baddest unicorns around (with its last valuation coming it at over $62 billion), but when you win big, it would seem that you also lose big. According to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick himself, the transportation giant is losing a stunning $1 billion a year in China, one of the hottest markets for tech startups across the globe. Attributing these massive losses to competition with other ride-sharing companies, Kalanick pointed to these numbers as signs of “irrational funding going on” in the startup world.

“We’re profitable in the USA, but we’re losing over $1 billion a year in China,” the CEO said in an interview with Betakit. “We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share. I wish the world wasn’t that way. I prefer building rather than fundraising. But if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share.”

The culprit behind Uber’s relatively poor performance in China is Didi Kuaidi, a homegrown company that has benefited immensely from the deep pockets of Alibaba and Tencent, both Chinese companies themselves. While an Uber spokeswoman insisted to CNN that Uber maintains “the sustainable financial strength to win in China in the long-term,” in the short-run, they’re definitely being outplayed by the home team. The spokeswoman continued, “… our largest competitor in China spends many multiples of what we do to buy up unprofitable market share.”

Didi Kuaidi, however, disagrees with Uber’s prognosis, with spokeswoman Casper Sun telling CNN that Uber has made use of “fictitious numbers” and an “unsustainable and severely challenged” strategy, which is costing the company a billion dollars a year overseas.

Another spokesman for the Chinese transportation company told Reuters that while “smaller competitors have to bleed subsidies to make up for their insufficient driver and rider network,” Didi Kuaidi has had no such issues. Indeed, the company is now active in 400 cities and, according to Reuters, has “passed break-even point in half of those cities.”

Uber, for its own part, claims to be active in 380 cities globally but only a bit over 100 cities in China, and while it previously claimed a 30 to 35 percent market share in China, it’s unclear as to just how accurate these numbers are given their massive losses. So strap down, Uber — it’s going to be a bumpy ride in this foreign territory.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Computing

The Surface Pro 6 is a minimalist update on the best tablet 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, it's a small, but notable update.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.