Chinese Uber competitor to launch in South Africa

China’s Didi Chuxing, which is backed by SoftBank, said on Monday (29 March) that it would start a ride-hailing service in South Africa.

Reuters reported that the service is set to officially launch in Cape Town, taking on established rides-haring competitors including Uber and Bolt.

Didi already operates in Japan, Australia, Russia and several South American markets. Founded in 2012, Didi Chuxing is now one of China’s largest tech companies and has over 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers.

A South African website shows that the group is officially hiring workers for the service, with drivers eligible for 0% commission for the first four weeks post-launch.

The expansion follows the successful pilot launch of its operation in Gqeberha, South Africa, on 1 March.

In less than a month, more than 2,000 drivers in the city are already connected to DiDi’s app, helping more than 20,000 local residents who have already signed up with DiDi to get where they are going safely and affordably.

“South Africa has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic that has upended all of our lives – so as this beautiful country looks to recover and rebuild, we would like to do our part, to be a partner in building back better by providing better earning opportunities for drivers as well as safer and more affordable mobility options for everyone,” said Stephen Zhu, senior vice president and head of DiDi’s International Business.

“The launch of DiDi in South Africa marks another milestone for the company’s efforts in bringing safe and affordable transportation options to more and more people around the world.”

Read: Uber faces legal threat in South Africa after UK ruling

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Chinese Uber competitor to launch in South Africa