Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing expands to smaller cities in Australia as part of global push

16-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing says it plans to expand its operations to smaller cities and towns in Australia, reaching 3 million more people, in the latest move by the company to push its global expansion.

Starting August 10, Didi’s Express service will be available in 20 new regional cities and towns including the country’s capital Canberra and Adelaide in South Australia, while its 7-seater Max service will initially be available in Adelaide, according to a company statement on Tuesday.

Since entering the Australian market in May 2018, the platform has been available in eight cities including the country’s four largest Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Operating locally through its wholly-owned subsidiary, it has around 75,000 regular drivers and 1.5 million active passengers in the country.

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Globalisation is one of Didi’s core strategies after the company became the top player in the saturated mainland Chinese market. Since pushing Uber out of China four years ago, Didi has been on an acquisition spree around the world, investing in Grab and Ola in Asia, Lyft in the US, 99 in Brazil, Taxify in Europe and Careem in Dubai.

The company now operates in eight overseas markets outside China including Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, covering more than 260 major cities globally. By the beginning of this year, Didi had delivered more than 1 billion trips in its international markets, the company said.

While Didi is accelerating its international development, the platform is expanding its scope of operations and diversifying its business, according to a Didi spokeswoman. Amid the global coronavirus pandemic when international transport ground to a virtual standstill and Didi’s core ride-hailing business was hit hard, the company started to offer services such as on-demand delivery and food delivery. Now Didi offers food delivery services in Brazil, Mexico and Japan.

Despite the negative impact from the pandemic, Jean Liu Qing, president of the privately-owned Didi, said in May that the company’s core ride-hailing business had reached profitability for the first time and that the company had no plans for job cuts or raising capital.

The Beijing-based business is on track to hit its target of processing 100 million orders per day worldwide and reaching 800 million monthly active users within three years, Didi chief executive Cheng Wei said in an internal meeting in April.

Didi counts Apple, SoftBank Group, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings among its biggest shareholders. Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post.


Category: China

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