The top ride-requesting app in China Didi Kuaidi is working hard to triumph over its competitor Uber. The Chinese company announced on Friday that it formed a customer sharing alliance with various ride-hailing companies throughout the world. The move will allow Didi Kuaidi to gain a foothold in countries outside of its native China.
The companies that joined the newly formed alliance include Lyft of the United States, Singapore’s GrabTaxi and Ola of India. With these partnerships, Didi Kuaidi can theoretically reach almost half of the world’s population. Didi Kuaidi already held a stake in each of these three startup companies.
Didi Kuaidi CEO Cheng Wei stated, “This is a win for the diversity and vitality of the global rideshare industry.”
Didi Kuaidi invested capital into each of these three companies earlier this year. In March, Didi Kuaidi invested $100 million in Lyft. The company currently operates in more than 190 cities across the United States.
GrabTaxi was next to receive an investment from Didi Kuaidi. The Chinese company put an undisclosed sum of money into GrabTaxi in August. GrabTaxi is the leading ride-requesting service across Southeast Asia.
Finally, in September, Didi Kuaidi put an undisclosed amount of money into Ola. The Indian ride-hailing service operates in more than 100 cities throughout India.
In total, Didi Kuaidi, Lyft, GrabTaxi and Ola have raised more than $7 billion from investors.
This massive customer sharing alliance will undoubtedly cause unrest for the world’s leading ride-requesting company Uber. The ride-hailing giant has aggressive expansion plans that will now be more difficult to achieve.
Senior market analyst Wang Xiaofeng explained, “Take travelers across Asia as an example: Chinese consumers can use their Didi account to get a cab with GrabTaxi when they travel to Southeast Asia, or with Ola in India. If this alliance didn’t happen, those people would likely use Uber because that is the ride-hailing platform they are more aware of.”
Didi Kuaidi says that its new ride sharing network will go into effect in the first quarter of next year.
CEO of GrabTaxi Anthony Tan said, “Under this umbrella, we see many opportunities to share ideas and best practices – from product innovations to driver support, technology developments and approaches for managing local operations in a rapidly-scaling organization.”