China’s biggest ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing, is making its first move in Brazil in a drive to win market share in emerging economies.
The move comes as Didi faces regulatory pressures in its home market and is engaged in global rivalry with Uber.
The strategic partnership with 99, Brazil’s homegrown taxi-booking platform, will give Didi a seat on 99’s board of directors, the two companies announced yesterday.
“The focus for the partnership with 99 is on developing the enormous, untapped potentials of Brazilian and Latin American markets,” said Didi, adding that it has “a very firm commitment to a globalisation strategy”.
“The war on one front is now being fought everywhere, globally,” said William Bao Bean, partner at SOSV, the Chinese software start-up accelerator. “Before it was fine to be the top app in China or in the US. That’s no longer enough for Uber or Didi.”
“一条战线上的战争如今在全球各地打响，”中国软件创业加速器SOSV的合伙人宾威廉(William Bao Bean)表示。“过去，成为中国或美国的头号app就行了。现在那对优步或滴滴已经不够了。”
Didi has also invested in Lyft, Uber’s main US rival, as well as GrabTaxi, which is popular in Southeast Asia. The three car-sharing apps are part of a global anti-Uber alliance in which users of one app can hail the others’ cars when travelling abroad.