Uxin, China’s largest marketplace for user cars, announced Wednesday that it has raised $170 million from a group of investors including Baidu, KKR & Co, and hedge fund Coatue Management. Uxin said it will use the funds to expand its B2C model of used car sales through its smartphone apps and websites. Baidu has increasingly been backing technology start-ups.
Baidu and Uxin have similar visions for the market
Uxin said the new partnership with Baidu will allow the search engine giant’s users to find live information on used cars for sale on Xin.com. Uxin CEO Dai Kun said Baidu and his company had similar visions for the used car e-commerce market, reports Wu Nan of the South China Morning Post. Baidu will share resources with the start-up to provide more transparent and comprehensive information to customers.
Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said that together they can “meaningfully improve” the whole experience of purchasing used cars in China. The Beijing-based search company has been expanding its business beyond the search and web services. Late last year, Baidu invested $600 million in the U.S. taxi-hailing app Uber.
Baidu’s first investment in China’s used-car market
Uxin’s B2B platform, Uxin Pai, is the largest used car auction site in mainland China with 47.8% market share, according to iResearch. It also offers car financing products. Uxin has developed a digital detector Cha Ke, which thoroughly evaluates the quality of used cars. Dai said because of the company’s great service, its customer base was “expanding and more robust.”
It was Baidu’s first investment in China’s used car industry. According to the China Automobile Dealers Association, more than six million used cars were sold in the country last year. The Chinese second-hand car market was worth $59 billion in 2014, up 26% from the previous year. By comparison, 23.5 million units of new cars were sold in China last year.
Baidu shares rose 2.30% to $207.95 at 12:09 PM EDT on Wednesday. The stock has gained 26% in the last 12 months.