Didi Chuxing Technology
Didi Chuxing Technology
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Didi Chuxing Technology

Companies

Didi Chuxing Technology

Didi Chuxing Technology

Auto and Transport

Description

Didi Chuxing Technology Co. is a Chinese vehicle for hire company headquartered in Beijing with over 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers. The company provides app-based transportation services, including taxi hailing, private car hailing, social ride-sharing and bike sharing; on-demand delivery services; and automobile services, including sales, leasing, financing, maintenance, fleet operation, electric vehicle charging and co-development of vehicles with automakers.

History

2012–2015: Founding of Didi Dache

In June 2012, following eight years, working in Alibaba's sales and Alipay divisions, Cheng Wei founded Didi Dache, a taxi-hailing app,. then changed to “beep beep” in Mandarin (like a car's horn). So literally means "Beep-beep! Mobility"

The application was the initial incarnation of Didi Chuxing's ride-hailing service, and consisted of an app for consumers to request taxis and other rideshare services for immediate pick up. BeiJing XiaoJu Keji Co. developed the app. In November 2012, Tencent invested $15 million in the company.

2015: Merger of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache

A study in December 2013 by Analysis International, estimated that at the time Didi Dache (backed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited) held approximately 55% of the smartphone-based taxi-hailing market in China (about 150 million Chinese were estimated to use their smartphones to hail taxis). According to the same study, Kuaidi Dache, backed by Alibaba Group, held most of the remaining market share. Aggressive fundraising by the two companies resulted in Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache raising US$700 million and US$600 million from private investors, respectively, to sustain their growth in the world's largest transport market. In February 2015 the companies merged to form Didi Kuaidi.

In May 2015, Didi Kuaidi spent aggressively to compete with other startups including Yidao Yongche and Uber (of which Baidu was an investor). The company also added other features to complement its basic taxi-calling function such as new premium vehicle services, functions for carpool and designated driver transportation modes and enhanced accessibility functions for passengers with disabilities. In July 2015, Didi Kuaidi completed a US$2 billion fundraising round, bringing the company's cash reserves to over US$3.5 billion; the same month, Didi Kuaidi was reported to get 80.2% market share in car hire services. Didi Kuaidi's existing stakeholders, including Alibaba, Tencent, Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd and Coatue Management, participated in the round, alongside new investors including, Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures, part of Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd. The July 2015 fundraise is ranked as the world's largest single fundraising round by any private company, as well as the largest fundraising round for a Chinese mobile internet company at that time.

By September 2015, Didi Kuaidi had obtained 80% market share in private car hailing services and 99% of the taxis market share. The same month, Didi Kuaidi announced the launch of a rebrand process, including a plan to rename itself "Didi Chuxing". Following the rebrand, in December 2015, taxi drivers concerned with the potential risk of ride-hailing applications cutting into their business protested against Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, forcing both companies to close their offices in the city of Luoyang.

2017–present: business expansion, crisis and safety system enhancement

In March 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that SoftBank Group Corporation approached DiDi with an offer to invest $6 billion in the company to fund the ride-hailing firm's expansion in self-driving car technologies, with a significant portion of the money to come from SoftBank's then-planned $100 billion Vision Fund.

On 28 April 2017, DiDi announced it closed a new financing round of over US$5.5 billion to support its global expansion strategy and continued investments in AI-based technologies. The round valued the company at US$50 billion.

In December 2017, Reuters reported that DiDi had raised $4 billion for a global push into foreign markets and investments into technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

In May 2018 the company received a wave of negative media coverage when a female passenger on the company's Hitch social carpooling service was murdered by her driver. In August of the same year, a second female passenger was raped and killed by her driver using the same Hitch service on the DiDi platform. Following these incidents, DiDi suspended its Hitch services in August 2018, and began to reform its platform with improved safety standards. In September 2018, Didi announced an investment of $20 million in customer service, The app's safety updates included an evolving set of safety precautions and in-app functions, including the formation of an in-app safety center, en-route audio recording, police assistance button and blocking function to restrict service from certain drivers and passengers. The company also invested $20 million in its customer service offerings and increased its in-house customer service team to 8,000 staff. As part of the update, DiDi created an online discussion platform to facilitate online and offline national public opinion surveys in China. Media reported that in 2018, DiDi recorded losses of up to $1.61 billion owing to heavy spend on training and recruitment of qualified and skilled drivers.

In 2018, the company launched its "Red Flag Steering Wheel" program in which verified Communist Party of China members would be visible as drivers. The company also pledged to hire 1,000 Communist Party members as part of its safety drive.

In 2018, the company launched a bike and e-bike sharing platform and expanded vertically into auto service sector with the spinoff of Xiaoju Automobile Solutions, a platform providing auto sales, leasing, financing, car maintenance, refueling and recharging services to driver partners on the platform and independent vehicle owners.

Since 2015, DiDi has invested in Grab, Lyft, Ola, Uber, 99, Bolt (Taxify) and Careem, and expanded into Latin America, Australia and Japan. In January 2018, DiDi acquired 99, a Brazilian ride hailing app.

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