Chinese ride-hailing services giant Didi Chuxing has launched operations in Mexico City, its American rival Uber’s largest market in Latin America.
Didi’s arrival will no doubt heat up competition in the local taxi services industry, with the Chinese firm vowing that it would put to use all its technology expertise in Mexico.
The ride-sharing company is already operating in Monterrey, Mexico’s 3rd largest city, as well as Toluca.
According to a statement on its website, Didi is also preparing to launch operations in Chihuahua, Mexicali, Tijuana, Merida, and Puebla.
The Chinese company expanded to Latin America last year when it acquired a stake in its Brazilian rival 99. Currently, there are over 1,000 local employees in Mexico and Brazil, according to Tony Qiu, the company’s general manager for Latin American operations.
Didi, whose technology teams are based in California and Beijing, has reportedly signed up thousands of drivers in Mexico City. With around 22 million internet users, Mexico City offers an attractive opportunity for ride-sharing apps to test the Latin American market.
“Didi brings advanced algorithm models and safety technologies developed in China to the Mexico market,” stated the company.
Pablo Mondragon, the company’s head of operations in Mexico City, told Chinese news wire Xinhua : “Latin America is one of the fastest growing regions in terms of Internet use, especially Mexico. We have about 90 million internet users (nationwide), which makes entry (into the market) easy for these types of apps.”
Founded in 2012, Didi Chuxing is the second biggest ride-hailing service in the world and financially backed by several deep-pocketed venture capital funds, in addition to China’s tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba.