Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing platform, is beginning its expansion abroad and into new sectors. Didi has already pushed out foreign competition from Uber in China and now seeks to leverage its dominance in the domestic ride-hailing market to open up opportunities in Taiwan and the fast-growing mobile payments market. The key overlap between these two ventures is Chinese tourism.
Didi, China’s top – and pretty much only – ride-hailing app, today announced yet another big injection of funds.
Didi has pocketed an extra US$4 billion from investors “to support AI capacity-building, international expansion, and new business initiatives, including the development of new energy vehicle service networks,” said the gigantic startup in an announcement this morning.
With 450 million users and 25 million daily rides, Didi last month revealed its plan to build a China-wide network of charging stations for electric cars, which will be accessible to the public as well as its own 21 million signed-up drivers.
The company already has an AI research and development center devoted to autonomous cars in Mountain View, California, which opened earlier in the year. A Didi representative tells Tech in Asia that the funding will include but not be limited to hiring AI talent around self-driving vehicles.