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China tech

Like Uber, China's Didi spins off self-driving arm

Separating risky and costly business seen as preparation for IPO

Didi is testing autonomous-driving tech in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of Didi)

CHONGQING -- Chinese ride-sharing leader Didi Chuxing is turning autonomous driving operations into a separate company, seeking to accelerate fundraising and partnerships in a move seen as groundwork for an initial public offering.

Didi did not disclose the size of its own stake in the unit or how much capital the new company launches with. Didi Chief Technology Officer Zhang Bo will serve as the new company's CEO. Meng Xing, a veteran of a major Chinese investment firm who spearheaded investments in automated driving, will serve as chief operating officer.

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