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What Is Didi Chuxing And What Should You Know In 2021?

Last updated: July 19, 2021
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hand holding a mobile phone running the didi chuxing app

Did you know there’s a Chinese company that’s rising with its multitude of services and cutting-edge technology?

Didi Chuxing does everything from ride-sharing to food delivery.

They have headquarters in China, but their technology research centers as based in America.

Learn what Didi Chuxing is, where they started, what they do, and why they’re growing in popularity worldwide.

What Is Didi Chuxing?

Didi Chuxing is a Chinese startup, a ride-hailing company specializing in ride-sharing based out of Beijing.

The company has more than 450 million users and completed 7.43 billion rides in 2017.

They have established partnerships with some of the most notable vehicle-for-hire companies globally, including Lyft, Uber, Grab, Ola, and Taxify.

Didi Chuxing connects with riders through an app on their smartphone, offering everything from usual rides, to bike and vehicle rentals, to party cabs so that people don’t drink and drive.

What Is Ride-Hailing?

Ride-hailing is very similar to ride-sharing, with a critical difference.

With ride-sharing, you may find yourself sharing a car with another passenger.

Ride-hailing cuts that out for a premium price.

In addition, you get a customized ride that will take you directly to your destination without any other pickups.

Once the ride is over, the cost automatically deducts from your bank account, and the profits get split between the driver and the third-party company for which they work.

Where Does Didi Chuxing Operate?

Didi Chuxing operates in 4,000 cities across 16 countries.

Their primary operations are across the Asian Pacific, including China, Japan, and Hong Kong.

The other countries Didi Chuxing operated in are Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Chile, Columbia, South Africa, Latin America, and Mexico.

You may not know you’re taking a Didi Chuxing ride since they use local companies with different names in some of the countries they operate in.

For example, they work in Brazil under the 99 brand.

A Brief History of Didi Chuxing

Before the ride-hailing giant became Didi Chuxing, it was known as Didi Dache, or China’s Didi and was founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei.

Cheng Wei has spent eight years before that working with Alibaba and Alipay. He created Didi to be a simple taxi-hailing app to make getting rides easier.

Tencent, a Chinese internet giant, initially backed the Chinese ride app.

Jean Liu, the current president of Didi Chuxing, came on board in 2014 after leaving her position as managing director in Goldman Sachs Asia for 12 years.

In 2015, after a study found that Didi Dache had about 55% of the smartphone-based ride-hailing market, merged with the second largest taxi-hailing service, Kuaidi Dache, to create Didi Kuaidi.

Also, in late 2015 Kuaidi Didi rebranded itself into the name we know today, Didi Chuxing.

After a fundraising round in 2016, which included Apple and China Life Insurance Company, Didi Chuxing bought out Uber China.

In early 2017 SoftBank Group Corporation approached Didi about investing in their technology branch, bringing more technology research to their ride-sharing services, focusing on artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.

Bad news arrived in 2018 with the press coverage of a female rider killed by her driver.

Didi then put nearly $20 million into safety features to ensure their riders would be safe, including en-route audio recording, a police assistance button, blocking specific drivers from picking up certain passengers, and national public surveys in China.

In the middle of 2021, just two days after Didi Chuxing’s Initial Public Offering, or IPO, to the US, China’s cybersecurity administration had the Didi app pulled from stores, citing users’ rights violations and fining them severely.

Didi Chuxing Services

hand holding a mobile phone running the didi chuxing app

Didi Chuxing has lots of services they offer that make them more than just a ride-hailing giant.

Their list is so long that they could easily have several startups going.

This list includes:

  • DiDi Taxi
  • DiDi Express
  • DiDi Premier
  • Designated Driving
  • Enterprise Solution
  • DiDi Bus
  • DiDi Luxe
  • Bike-Sharing
  • Xiaoju Automobile Solutions
  • DiDi Financial Services
  • DiDi Food
  • DiDi English

1. Didi Taxi

Didi Taxi is the original function of the 2012 app that calls for taxis and other ride-sharing services for pickups.

2. Didi Express

This is a carpooling solution that matches riders going in the same direction as an available shared car.

3. Didi Premier

Didi Premier is the ride-sharing service that specifically picks up those with children that require car seats, the disabled and even has a special arrangement for service dogs.

4. Designated Driving

The app now allows you to call for a chauffeur to drive you home with your car when you’ve had one too many to drink.

5. Enterprise Solution

This solution is for corporate clients who need business travel services.

6. Didi Bus

You can now find mini busses for transporting large groups of people, with customizable options and enquire about bus services in real-time.

7. Didi Luxe

For those with higher tastes calling a ride from this app includes a medium to high-end luxury car and a chauffeur.

8. Bike-Sharing

If you’re not into cars or buses, then consider bike sharing, including e-bikes.

9. Xiaoju Automobile Solutions

Car-related solutions are here for Didi cars as well as independent car owners.

Get everything from leasing and trading to refueling and recharging and even maintenance and repair.

10. Didi Financial Services

Download the Didi Finance app and get car insurance, medical insurance, and even small loans.

11. Didi Food

Currently available in Mexico, Brazil, and China is Didi Food, Didi’s first food delivery app.

12 Didi English

Now get the above services in English, including text message translations, so riders and drivers can communicate more easily.

The Battle of the Ride Shares

With so many different ride-sharing apps around today, it’s hard to know which is better.

So let’s pit Didi Chuxing against the two most popular services and see how they compare.

Uber vs. Didi Chuxing

Both have ride-hailing services and operate similarly.

Now with Didi Chuxing challenging Uber for their ride-sharing crown, who will come out on top?

Uber

  • Launched 2009
  • Operates in 65 countries
  • Based in San Fransisco, CA
  • Has 3 million drivers
  • Has 75 million users
  • Does 15 million rides per day
  • In 2017 their revenue was $7.2 billion
  • Total valuation: $72 billion
  • Has food delivery service: Uber Eats
  • Does not have car service
  • Does not have financial service

Tried to tap into the Chinese market but eventually sold to Didi Chuxing in 2016.

Didi Chuxing

  • Launched 2012
  • Operates in 16 countries
  • Based in Beijing, China
  • Has 21 million drivers
  • Has 550 million users
  • Does 30 million rides every day
  • Net sales estimated at $4 billion
  • Total Valuation: $56 billion
  • Has food delivery service: Didi Food
  • Has car service: Xiaoju Automobile Solutions
  • Has financial service: Didi Financial Services

While Didi Chuxing doesn’t have as much cash flow as Uber, they launched later.

However, both have been dealing with the pandemic and still managing to stay afloat, with Didi finally getting into the black and making money this year.

Lyft vs. Didi Chuxing
Lyft is another popular ride service, although it’s not as big as Uber.

How will it compare with Didi Chuxing?

Lyft

  • Launched 2012
  • Operates in 300 US cities and 2 Canadian
  • Based in San Fransisco, CA
  • Has 1.4 million drivers
  • Has 23 million users
  • Does 1 million rides per day
  • In 2017 their revenue was over $1 billion
  • Total valuation: $15 billion
  • Only does ride-sharing

Even though Didi Chuxing and Lyft launched around the same time, Didi is doing better than Lyft in certain areas.

As a result, Lyft will have to play catch-up if they want to compete with Didi.

Didi Chuxing IPO

Didi Chuxing officially put out its IPO in July of 2021.

Didi filed it under their formal name, Xiaoju Kuaizhi.

The papers showed that the pandemic was hard on them.

As a result, their revenue was down 8% in 2020.

Nevertheless, Jean Liu, the current president of Didi, reported a profit of $30 million for the first quarter of 2021.

Didi planned on using the funds from the IPO for an expansion.

Like with many ride-sharing apps, Didi Chuxing operated under a net loss since they launched.

Before You Go

That’s everything you need to know in a nutshell about Didi Chuxing.

They do more than just ride-sharing, have received backing from some of the biggest names in the world, and are pretty great when pitted against Uber and Lyft.

If you’d like to know more, then search for DidiGlobal or visit their website at www.didiglobal.com.

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