DiDi Chuxing Spins Off Robotic-Car Unit

Chinese ride-hailing giant DiDi Chuxing Technology Co. has set up its autonomous driving operations as a separate company in a bid to bolster investment in the unit.

As a separate entity, the unnamed company will reduce a cash drain on DiDi, while enabling outside backers to directly fund efforts to develop self-driving vehicles, the Financial Times says.

Uber Technologies Inc. made a similar move in April, when it announced the spinoff of its autonomous vehicle systems unit as Advanced Technology Group. That deal attracted $1 billion in new funding from Denso, Softbank and Toyota.

DiDi’s 3-year-old autonomy unit has been testing robotic vehicles in China and the U.S. since early last year. DiDi wants to eventually deploy driverless vehicles for its ride-hailing services, but it hasn’t said when.