Didi Chuxing is taking on its rival Uber in a head-to-head battle of the ride-sharing apps, with the Chinese provider announcing plans to launch operations in Mexico in the first quarter of 2018.
As the second biggest ride-hailing service in the world, Didi Chuxing has financial backing from a string of deep-pocketed venture capital funds, giving it a foreboding presence in the sector — while Uber has been able to raise more than US$12 billion in equity funding over the last few years, its Chinese rival collected more than US$15 billion.
Uber has also been playing its best hands in Latin America over the past two years and is already a dominant player in Mexico. The company has 7 million users across 45 cities, including Mexico City, which is Uber’s third-biggest market in the world, after the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Uber is part owner of Didi Chuxing, with a one-fifth stake in the firm, but some analysts in the United States say the Chinese company poses an ‘existential threat‘ to Uber in Latin America.
In addition, the Chinese firm has been actively investing in similar business models on a global scale, with US-based Lyft, Brazil’s 99, India’s Ola, Singapore’s Grab, Estonia’s Taxify, and Careem in the Middle East all part of its investment portfolio.