The largest ride-hailing service in China made an alliance with Lyft in their efforts to challenge Uber’s reign in the United States.
Uber has little chances to impose itself in China, as the country’s two biggest taxi-hailing services made an alliance one year ago, turning into the giant Didi Kuaidi company which dominates the market. However, the San Francisco-based startup is well established in the United States. Lyft is now trying to upset Uber’s path by joining forces with Didi and announced this week a partnership in this direction. Therefore, starting now, Didi users will be able to use the company’s smartphone application in the US to access Lyft’s fleet, paying via Chinese services. Furthermore, Lyft customers will soon also be able to user their app when traveling to China to access Didi’s services.
Both companies are starting with a trial version app, planning to expand in the future to hundreds of cities. “Just like any Internet product, the launch is on a phased schedule. Going forward, the opportunities are wide open,” Li Zijian, Didi’s senior director of international strategy, told Bloomberg “Didi will be offering its private cars and Lyft will be offering its equivalent to private cars.” Didi and Lyft will make a full assessment of their joint effort by the end of the year and they will decide by then how to improve their offering. “We’ve agreed to review it every few months and it’d be fair to say that by year’s end, we’ll have a review of the product, of the experience and of the business,” Li said.