LinkedIn has entered the fast-growing car sharing market by joining forces with Didi Kuaidi, China’s leading ride-hailing mobile application. The partnership announcement was made at the eighth US-China Internet Industry Forum in Seattle, Washington.
It was somewhat overshadowed by the visit to the Forum by Chinese President Xi Jinping, but experts say the move is a headline grabber in the highly competitive world of car sharing.
The partnership will see LinkedIn working closely with Didi in staff recruitment, product integration, brand development and information technology.
“The two companies will collaborate in developing algorithms and machine learning capabilities to improve their user experience and create new market opportunities,” read the partnership announcement statement.
The partnership's first collaboration will involve Didi's Chinese car pooling service "Hitch" which it launched in June. Since the launch the company has attracted five million users.
The signed memorandum of understanding between LinkedIn and Didi will enable Hitch users to connect their LinkedIn accounts to the carpooling platform.
Derek Shen, President of LinkedIn China said LinkedIn has 10 million users in China. Globally there are 300 LinkedIn million users, which according to experts, is a huge attraction for Didi’s worldwide growth aspirations.
The LinkedIn partnership is Didi's second big announcement within seven days in the U.S. Last week it released information about a $100 million investment into U.S on-demand transport provider Lyft.
The experts said LinkedIn's first task for Didi will most probably see it support Lyft's talent recruitment efforts because investment in Lyft is the company's ticket to worldwide expansion.
The companies’ partnership statement read “This collaboration is expected to set an example for other Chinese internet enterprises looking to recruit and develop global talent.”