Didi Chuxing is coming to Mexico. The Chinese ridesharing company that successfully pushed Uber out of its Asian homeland is making international moves of its own, and has now publicly launched a website in Mexico that advertises the service to potential passengers and drivers alike. This move once again puts Didi in competition with Uber, and if history is any indication, the San Francisco-based ridesharing giant may have cause for concern.
A spokesperson for Didi Chuxing told Reuters that the startup will first make its debut in Toluca, an urban environment just under 40 miles away from Mexico City. Didi already boasts an operations hub in Mexico’s capital city — specifically in the Juarez neighborhood.
But why start its adventure in Toluca? According to the company representative, Didi believes the city to be a “robust regional commercial and cultural” center. Moreover, the ridesharing firm seeks to learn more about the transportation needs of Mexican citizens from this initial run — indeed, this is still early days for Didi, especially in a new country, and as such, launching in the largest urban hub of Mexico may not be the best way to test the waters.
While Didi has not yet confirmed the timing of when the app and service itself will go live, a source close to the company tells Reuters that we can expect to see another ridesharing option in Mexico later in April. And while the spokesperson did not comment on this matter, the new Mexico website for the company states that operations will begin “very soon.”
And as for how Didi expects to attract drivers, the company is offering quite competitive pay. For starters, the company is promising not to take any proportion of its drivers’ paychecks until June 17, and is also promising additional bonuses to folks who recruit new drivers and passengers. Once Didi does begin taking a cut of earnings, it will take 20 percent, which is less than the 25 percent rate that Uber charges its drivers.
Mexico marks Didi Chuxing’s first venture outside of Asia, and we’ll just have to see if the company proves as successful on this side of the Pacific.