Competition in Sydney’s ridesharing market is about to ratchet up again, with news on Monday China-based DiDi will launch across Australia’s largest city in March.
The announcement, which comes almost two years after Didi’s first foray Down Under, will present a challenge to market leader Uber, which has had virtually free reign over the lucrative geography for years.
It will also present independent contractors working in the ridesharing economy with a new option as platforms continue to compete fiercely for both drivers and customers.
DiDi will go live in Sydney from March 16, with the company spruiking the move as a “major milestone” for its Australian operation, which is boasting claims of two million riders across the country.
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“DiDi’s entry into the global economic and cultural hub of Sydney is a huge milestone for our continued expansion across Australia,” DiDi Australia general manager Lyn Ma said in a statement circulated Monday.
“We are eager to work alongside local stakeholders in the Sydney transportation industry, along with using leading AI technologies and local operational expertise, to innovate and build a better, trusted product with the aim to be Sydney’s preferred ridesharing platform.”
DiDi and India-headquartered Ola have been nipping at American-based Uber’s heels in the Australian ridesharing market for several years amid a race for market share — and presumably profitability — in the fast-growing industry.
The more recent entrants have opted for heavily promotional offers that incentivise both drivers and riders with added extras for using the platforms, whether that be monetary discounts or bonuses.
DiDi’s strategy for Sydney appears to be no different, with riders offered 50% off rides within the first four weeks of its launch.
Drivers who sign up before March 11 will receive a better commission rate than they otherwise would.
Worth noting, as reported by Business Insider earlier this year, DiDi has recently made myriad changes to its driver remuneration model in Australia which have angered many contractors.