Exclusive: China ride-hailing giant Didi plans Chile, Peru launches to take on Uber – Reuters

What happened: Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi intends to launch its services in Peru, Chile, and Colombia, according to job listings and a company official. The company has already moved senior executives to South America to lead its expansion in the region. Didi has begun looking to fill positions relating to advertising, crisis management, marketing, and business development.

Why it’s important: The move escalates the competition between Didi and its international rival Uber. The two companies are already battling for market share in Brazil and Mexico. Didi CEO Cheng Wei said at an internal meeting last week that the company will focus on internationalization in 2019. At the same meeting, Cheng announced plans to lay off staff in China, as the company deals with increasingly strict regulation following the murder of two female passengers using its platform last year. It also reportedly faced record losses in 2018, amounting to nearly RMB 11 billion (around $1.6 billion).

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.