What does the Uber-Didi deal teach us about foreign tech companies trying to do business in China?
That Uber was allowed to survive that long and get a good deal at the end because family relationships were involved very early.
Media often tends to forget the most important component of the relationships between those two companies operations in China : Didi’s president, Jean Liu, is the daughter of Liu Chuanzhi, the Chinese founder of the largest computer maker in the world, Lenovo. Her cousin, Zhen Liu, was a vice president and regular spokeswoman for Uber China.
Without this, Uber China may as well have died out months before any deal get done. I will bet that the Uber deal was actually discussed very early on. It is a great exit for a foreign company in China (ask Zuck), and negotiations surely involved all kinds of “gifts” on both sides - also often called “bribes” in Western dialects.
This text was originally published in quora.