Within the next few months, users of Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) and Lyft will be able to summon rides in both the U.S and China without leaving their ride-hailing app of choice.
“In two to three months, you’ll be able to open Lyft in China and summon rides through Didi’s service network,” said John Zimmer, the CEO of San Francisco-based Lyft, in an interview with Chinese media on Wednesday. The same will hold true for Didi users, who will be able to summon Lyft cars through the Chinese app, confirmed a PR spokesman from Lyft.
This announcement follows the strategic partnership by ride-hailing companies Lyft, Ola, GrabTaxi, and Didi Chuxing made in December 2015. In a joint press release, the companies described a global alliance where users of each company can summon rides using the ride-hailing app from their home country.
“Through this global partnership, the companies will collaborate and leverage each other’s technology, local market knowledge and business resources,” stated the press release. “Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API.”
The goal of the partnership is to allow users to “seamlessly access local on-demand rides” when traveling in the U.S, Southeast Asia, India, and China.
Lyft’s partnership with Didi Chuxing will help the US company extend its services to Chinese users without becoming too entrenched in the fiercely competitive ride-hailing market in China. The market also includes foreign and domestic players, like Uber and Yidao Yongche (易到用车).
Last May, Lyft also benefited from a $100 million USD investment from Didi Chuxing during a round of $530 million USD funding. The company has also received funding from General Motors, who invested $500 million USD in January. The partnership aims to develop a network of self-driving cars .
Image credit: Lyft