Softbank and Google join US$1.9 billion investment in Chinese truck-hailing firm

(Photo: CGTN)

Japan’s Softbank Group and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund CapitalG are among the investors pouring 1.9 billion US dollars into the truck hailing service platform Manbang, the Chinese company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Manbang, formally known as Full Truck Alliance Group, said the investment was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund - which counts Apple Inc, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund among its backers.

Manbang also said investors include state-backed private equity firm China Reform Fund and Hong Kong-based investment firm Ward Ferry.

The investment will help Manbang develop new business areas and markets, the company said. Around 5.2 million out of China’s 7 million trunk line trucks are members of the Full Truck Alliance, Manbang added.

Manbang, often described as China’s “Uber for trucks”, runs an app that allows shippers to connect with truck drivers, tapping into demand for haulage in one of the world’s busiest markets for goods transport.

Manbang CEO Wang Gang said in a statement that the firm would use much of the funds “to recruit talent”, which, when necessary, could include making acquisitions.

“The deal has brought Manbang’s development into a new stage,” Wang said, adding it would help the firm “become the world’s largest platform in terms of transportation capacity.”