As the home market in China for ride-hailing apps plateaus and stabilizes, entrepreneurs are looking at the dashboard of global expansion for new opportunities. Just one year after Uber China merged with Beijing-based rival Didi Chuxing in a $35 billion deal that makes international expansion a key priority, competitor Shouqi Limousine and Chauffeur is racing to reach under served global markets first. According to China’s People Daily, Shouqi will expand to 1,500 cities in 130 countries this September after already successfully branching out to 217 cities in 30 countries. In July, Shouqi raised $88 million in Series B funding.
The rapid expansion will be necessary if Shouqi hopes to compete with Didi Chuxing, which, prior to its merger with Uber, was the number one car hailing service in the world in addition to being the world’s second largest start-up, bested only by Uber. In 2014 Didi famously refused an investment from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. At the time, according to one possibly apocryphal story, Didi CEO and founder Chung Wei told Kalanick “You are earlier than us… but there will be a day when we will surpass you.” By 2015, Didi had done just that, having made major investments in Lyft, Ola, and GrabTaxi and marking 1.43 billion rides in 2015 alone, making Uber’s billionth ride celebration the previous December look positively pale in comparison. In 2016, they were met with praise by Fortune who named them one of “50 Countries That Are Changing The World,” noting that the company’s service reduced carbon emissions by 13.5 millions tons a day throughout China.
In addition, Didi boasts an exceptionally diverse workforce, with women making up 40 percent of its 7000 employees, compared to roughly 19 percent in Silicon Valley’s top 25 tech companies. Didi claims to be the first Chinese Internet company with a career development program specifically aimed towards helping women achieve their career goals.
Prior to the Uber merger, Didi Chuxing had a valuation of over $50 billion.
Here’s a look at how Didi Chuxing drove Uber out of competition and into a partnership.