China’s DiDi Chuxing Technology Co, which is backed by SoftBank Group and other investors, said on Monday it will start a ride-hailing service in Cape Town.
DiDi already operates in Japan, Australia, Russia and several South American markets.
The company is headquartered in Beijing and has over 600 million users and tens of millions of drivers around the world.
Since 2015, DiDi has closed various fundraising rounds, which has brought in investors including Apple, Tencent Holdings and affiliates of Alibaba Group.
In 2016, Didi said it would acquire Uber China in a deal that valued the latter business at US$35-billion. Uber and DiDi took a stake in each other’s companies as part of the transaction. In a 2017 fundraising round, DiDi was valued at $50-billion.
DiDi’s website on Monday welcomed South African customers and prospective drivers.
“DiDi South Africa is part of the world-leading transportation platform DiDi Chuxing, which offers a full range of app-based transportation services to more than 600 million users across Asia, Latin America and Russia,” the website said.
“DiDi South Africa understands the challenges communities and the transportation industry face with the evolution of urban mobility (ride-share) and as a result is committed to creating the freedom and convenience to go places, open up horizons and give access to new experiences through our platforms.
“Our mission is driven by a dedicated team, who understand the operational landscapes of the ride-share industry. DiDi exists to help South Africans move freely and to unlock their potential and that of the cities they live in.” — Reported by Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe, © 2021 Reuters, with additional reporting © 2021 NewsCentral Media