China’s Ride-Hailing Giant Didi Chuxing to Launch in Australia

Didi Chuxing, the leader in ride-hailing for China is continuing to expand internationally with its announcement of launching this month in Australia.

The company, which acquired the China business of Uber in 2016, announced that it would begin serving clients starting June 25 in Melbourne following a trail period of one month in Geelong, a city that is just 75 km from Melbourne.

The Australia business will be operated by a subsidiary of Didi and it is offering several welcome packages to both riders and drivers, also commonly known as promotions and discounts. It began signing drivers June 1, the company said.

The launch in Australia put Didi back in direct competition with rival Uber, which is becoming more commonplace. The move comes after Didi entered other markets such as Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico earlier this year with Didi finally expanding beyond its empire, based in China.

In December $4 billion was raised by Didi to develop general technology, AI and fund its international expansion. The launch in Australia is organic as Didi developed its team, while its Taiwan entrance was used by launching a franchise model and in Brazil it entered by way of an acquisition, acquiring 99 the local rival to Uber at a price of $1 billion.

It will also being entering Japan soon, where it will team up with SoftBank, an investor, in a joint-venture.

The company released a statement saying that during 2018, Didi would continue cultivating markets across Australia, Japan and Latin America, and is confident a combination of top transportation AI technology and expertise at the local level will bring a better customer experience to its overseas markets.

Its international expansion has brought about a new level of overall confusion since Didi has made relationships with other companies in the ride-hailing industry around the globe while expanding its own brand internationally.

The deal with Uber included a stock swap, turning the two from rival competitors to stakeholders, and Didi has also supported Grab a ride-hailing leader in Southeast Asia, U.S. based Lyft, India based Ola, Middle East based Careem and Taxify, which for the most part focuses on Africa and Europe.

As far as Australia is concerned, Didi will be competing with Uber, Ola, and Taxify. Uber and Didi are old rivals and then stakeholders and know one another, but this will be a first for Didi facing Ola a company it funded through an investment deal.