China’s Didi Raises More Than $500 Million for Self-Driving Tech

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Technology Co. raised more than $500 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 0.10% for its autonomous-driving subsidiary, the company said Friday, as it competes with well-backed U.S. startups over self-driving technology.

The fresh boost in capital led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, the successor to the Japanese tech investor’s $100 billion Vision Fund, will be used to test, develop and deploy Didi’s autonomous-driving technology, Didi said. The company is also planning to work with auto-industry partners to mass produce self-driving cars.

Didi, which spun off its self-driving division last August, faces a number of heavyweight rivals in the U.S., where funding is consolidating around a few star players, including Waymo LLC, the driverless-car unit of Alphabet Inc., and Argo AI LLC, backed by Ford Motor Co.