Yongche Founder Clarifies Posting That Fueled Uber Merger Talk

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Yongche.com, one of China’s largest mobile car-sharing service, said it isn’t merging with Uber Technologies Inc. after a posting of what looked like both companies’ logos fueled speculation they may collaborate.

The drawing, published on Yongche.com’s Weibo microblog on Sunday, also carried the May 21 date and a slogan saying “It’s best to be together.” Zhou Hang, the Beijing-based company’s founder, said in a text message that the two companies are not merging and that the “U” logo in the drawing didn’t refer to Uber. Uber’s China spokeswoman, Huang Xue, said the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

A tie-up between Yongche and Uber, if it had happened, would have been the latest in a series of tie-ups and mergers in China’s ride-hailing industry after companies competed for drivers and users by cutting prices and extending incentives.

Uber said in February that it planned to hire hundreds of people in China this year to help it compete against a merger between the country’s two largest taxi-hailing apps, backed separately by local Internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

In December, Uber had received a boost in the market, when local search provider Baidu Inc. took a minority stake in the company.

— With assistance by Tian Ying

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