Uber’s Chinese Rival Didi Kuaidi Teams Up With Lyft
It looks as if the pink mustache will be coming to China.
A bunch of ride-hailing companies are starting to band together around one goal: defeating Uber together.
According to sources, Lyft and Didi apps will now hail rides for visitors in each other’s country. Each service will take payments from its own users, but Lyft will hail a Didi car for U.S. visitors in China and Didi will pull up a Lyft ride for Chinese visitors in the U.S. This is pretty exciting since neither company has expanded outside of their home countries until now. The service is expected to roll out early next year, according to Lyft’s president John Zimmer.
China is perhaps the toughest market for Uber’s expansion plans. A number of homegrown taxi hailing services already exist and Didi Kuadi, the largest competitor, formed earlier this year as the strongest contender. It should be noted that the Beijing company covers about 360 cities and shuttles about three million rides per day, or three times as many riders as Uber in China.
This partnership is a big blow to Travis Kalanick. Uber has been aggressive in its global expansion efforts and Kalanick is keen on a bold extension into China – even developing Uber China as a standalone service in the country.
Kalanick visited Didi this summer and suggested his platform could invest in the dominant Chinese ridesharing service. Cheng Wei, then head of Didi Dache, said rejected the offer.
“His message was they had conquered the whole world and would also conquer China,” Cheng told the Wall Street Journal. “You are earlier than us globally, but there will be a day when we will surpass you.”