Chinese mobile transport success story Didi Chuxing is launching its DiDi Express ride-sharing services in Melbourne, making Australia the platform’s first English-speaking market.
Launched in 2012, Didi Chuxing now has 550 million users of its app-based transport offerings, including hitching and public transport services. It has already expanded throughout Greater China and into Latin America.
The launch of DiDi Express in Australia brings the service into competition with Uber and Australian-owned Go-Catch, as well as Estonian company Taxify, which entered Australia last year, and Ola, which launched in Perth earlier in 2018 and now operates in Melbourne and four other Australian cities.
Following a beta launch in Geelong last month, DiDi Express will launch in Melbourne on 25 June. According to Crunchbase, Didi has raised over $US20 billion ($26 billion) in funding to date.
In a statement, the company said: “Australia’s diversified mobility needs, business-friendly environment and inclusive culture have encouraged DiDi to commit to a long-term investment to improve mobility solutions across the country.”
The statement also said DiDi Express will apply its technology and algorithm to the Melbourne infrastructure, and intends to for public-private partnerships in a bid to improve transport capabilities and governance.