That support arrived last year, when Uber announced that China's leading search engine had become a strategic partner. Baidu has much experience navigating China's strict rules on censorship and government regulations, so the company could help Uber do the same.
"If Uber did not have this investment from Baidu, I would consider its position more precarious," Natkin added. "It puts them in a better position from a regulatory standpoint, but it's not bulletproof."
The country is also already saturated with local competition. The country's two largest taxi-hailing apps in China merged earlier this year, and Uber itself still has a smaller presence that's been focused more on English speakers.
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