Last Christmas Eve, Uber celebrated reaching its 1 billionth ride after operating its legion of car services worldwide since 2009. Unfortunately, the celebration seems ridiculous now that its biggest competition in China, Didi Kuaidi, just announced that they had 1.43B rides in 2015 alone. Sure, you might argue that China has a very large population but you still have to keep in mind that Uber had been in the business for five years and present in numerous countries.
At the moment, Uber offers a variety of services including Uber Black, Uber X, UberChopper, and more. However, Didi once again is miles away from Uber in this regard as they over private car, taxi, carpooling, designated driver, bus, and enterprise services. It's even more surprising to learn that Didi just launched two of its services last June which are the designated driver and Hitch which is the carpooling service. This news definitely positioned the company as the "World's number one rideshare market", dethroning Uber of its previous glory. It comes as no surprise as Didi is one of Uber's competitors who is plotting to end the reign of Uber around the globe.
After the French Uber drivers protested and started their own app, Didi Kuaidi along with India's Ola, South East Asia's GrabTaxi, and US's Lyft joined forces to take down the reportedly $62.5 billion company. To further establish this, Didi Kuaidi invested $100 million to help Lyft go head-to-head against Uber in the States. Last month, a report came out with Lyft stating the partnership between them and Didi: "the companies will collaborate and leverage each other's technology, local market knowledge and business resources so that international travelers can seamlessly access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home. Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API, providing the best global experience for the millions of travelers that cross between the US, Southeast Asia, India and China every year."
Didi started off as China's two largest taxi-hailing firms which are the Didi Dache and the Kuaidi Dache which became one February of last year. The company then raised $4.4 billion in seven round of financing while Uber started out with a bigger capital of $10 billion five years ago. Currently, Didi has 250 million users in 360 Chinese cities, has 80 percent of the private car service market and 99 percent of the taxi-hailing market in China. Why they are spearheading the movement against Uber is no surprise especially with all the numbers they are presenting.
"We're excited to join with Didi, Grab and Ola to make global travel simpler for passengers. Together they will allow Lyft to offer the world's best coverage, while building upon our shared vision of reconnecting communities through better transportation," said Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer in a statement. "This isn't solely a partnership of four companies, but also an opportunity to have a greater impact on the future of our cities worldwide."
According to a Forbes interview, Didi's top executive Cheng Wei is confident that they are bound to dominate the Asian markets especially with their more diversified portfolio than Uber. The company plans to seek more innovations on their services and add more ways for their clients to travel including through autonomous cars. If this continues, Uber should definitely be afraid and step up its game once again! After all, you can only be king for a long time unless a mutiny comes in and that's what the other four companies are definitely doing!
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