PICC invests in transport service firm Ucar

Investment to fund motor insurance and auto finance ventures between the two companies

PICC invests in transport service firm Ucar

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

PICC Asset Management, a subsidiary of People’s Insurance Company of China, has made a strategic investment worth RMB2.4 billion (US$353 million) in Ucar, an app-based chauffeured car service in China.

According to PICC, the newfound partnership will allow the companies to work together on motor insurance and auto finance ventures.

PICC’s investment comes just two months after China UnionPay and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. also made a RMB4.6 billion (US$669 million) strategic investment in Ucar, reports China Money Network. At present, Ucar has a total of RMB7 billion (US$1.03 billion) in follow-on investments since it went public last summer.

Launched in January 2015, Ucar began as a chauffeured car service provider, but is now also involved in automobile e-commerce and financing. It plans to use the investment proceeds to beef up its auto e-commerce platform, called maimaiche.com. Ucar plans to pump around US$1.7 billion into the firm until 2018.

Unlike Uber, Ucar uses an in-house fleet of cars and licensed drivers servicing 122 cities in China as of April, allowing it to avoid the regulatory conflicts other ride-hailing companies face. Ucar’s local rival, Didi Chuxing, acquired Uber’s China business, and follows a similar business model to the American transportation giant.

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