Didi to start its journey to the West in Australia

Daniel Fowler
June 17, 2018

Then, China's ride-hailing app Didi is the world's most valuable startup, and it's now expanding into Melbourne, Australia.

The moves follow the murder in May of a 21-year-old female passenger, a flight attendant, while traveling from an airport hotel to Zhengzhou's downtown area, allegedly by her Didi driver who bypassed defective safety controls in the app.

Commenting on the win, Zenith Australia CEO, Nickie Scriven, said, "We are delighted to be appointed as DiDi's lead agency as we launch DiDi into the Australian market". India's Ola Cabs launched in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne earlier this year, and recently expanded to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Canberra. The launch in Australia is organic as Didi developed its team, while its Taiwan entrance was used by launching a franchise model and in Brazil it entered by way of an acquisition, acquiring 99 the local rival to Uber at a price of $1 billion.

Didi cemented its spot as China's biggest ride-hailing company when it bought Uber's operations in the country in 2016.

Australian exporters have blamed anti-Beijing rhetoric for delays clearing product through Chinese Customs.

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The International Monetary Fund warned this week USA tariffs could dent global growth, but according to reports, President Trump is preparing to unveil $50 billion worth of new tariffs on another batch of Chinese imports. Didi is backed by bluechip investors including SoftBank Group Corp and Apple Inc.

"We welcome competition because it keeps us focused on delivering the very best product and customer experience for riders, driver partners and Uber Eats customers and partners", an Uber spokeswoman said in an email.

The Chinese firm started recruiting drivers in Melbourne earlier this month "to warm responses", it added.

Didi has begun its hiring of local drivers early this month, it said in a statement on Friday. It had also done a trial in Geelong, a satellite city 75 kilometers (46 miles) away.

The entry of world's leading ride-hailing platform into the Australian market is a new milestone for DiDi in terms of their intensive global outreach.

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