Didi Chuxing looks set to take on its Silicon Valley rival Uber in Latin America, with the Chinese ride-sharing provider announcing plans to launch operations in Mexico in the first quarter of 2018.
The news broke in December, almost 7 months after the company had raised US$5.5 billion from investors.
Although Uber owns one-fifth stake in Didi Chuxing, some American analysts say the company poses an ‘existential threat‘ to Uber in Latin America.
Didi Chuxing is the second biggest ride-hailing service in the world and has backing from a string of deep-pocketed venture capital funds.
While Uber has raised more than US$12 billion in equity funding over the last few years, its Chinese rival overtook that, raising US$15 billion in venture funding.
In addition, the Chinese firm has invested in Uber rivals around the world, including US-based Lyft, Brazil-based 99, India’s Ola, Singapore-headquartered Grab, Estonia’s Taxify, and Careem in the Middle East.
Uber has doubled down in Latin America in the past two years, and with 7 million users across 45 cities, Uber is already a dominant player in Mexico. Mexico City is Uber’s third-biggest market in the world, after the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.