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China's Messy Car Repair Market Gets a Goldman-Backed Makeover

  • Shanghai-based Tuhu has valuation of $4 billion, founder says
  • China’s car fleet is aging as number of vehicles in use grows
A Tuhu repair and service center in Shanghai.
A Tuhu repair and service center in Shanghai.Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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Car repair can be challenging in China, rife with the potential for disputes over the quality of service and parts and dominated by mom-and-pop stores. But the auto after-market industry is changing as vehicles age and owners become more exacting, creating a giant opportunity for companies trying to raise the bar using technology.

One of those is Shanghai Lantu Information Technology Holding Ltd., or Tuhu, and it’s got some notable backers in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Carlyle Group Inc., Sequoia Capital, as well as internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Valued at $4 billion, the company is already a major distributor of auto parts and China’s biggest internet-based car maintenance service provider, according to founder Chen Min.