Lyft Announces Partnership With China's Largest Ridesharing Company
China has its own versions of popular tech services. Instead of Twitter, there is Weibo. Alongside Amazon, there is Alibaba. And in addition to Uber, there is Didi Kuaidi, the country's largest ride-hailing service that operates in more than 360 cities in China.
Today, Didi announced that it is teaming up with the company's largest stateside rival: Lyft.
The partnership is two-pronged: Didi invested $100 million in Lyft in a funding round completed in this spring, and the two ridesharing companies will work together to provide rides for consumers traveling between the U.S. and China.
Lyft users traveling to China from the U.S. will be able to access Didi rides through the Lyft app, and vice versa for Chinese travelers visiting the US, who can hail Lyft rides using the Didi app. "With this collaboration, we will create significant value to cross-border travelers," Didi President Jean Liu said. "You will be able to access a Chinese driver who can speak English when you access Didi's network through the Lyft app."
The cross-platform partnership will launch early next year.
While Uber was never mentioned explicitly during the press conference, the company – which recently raised more than $7 billion at a valuation of more than $50 billion – was the elephant in the room.
Over the last few years, Uber has been aggressively expanding in international markets, including China.
While the company is the largest ridesharing company in the U.S. (by a long-shot), when it comes to China it significantly trails Didi, which has captured 80 percent of the overall ridesharing market in the country.