Chinese rideshare company DiDi Chuxing announces Australian launch

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Globally, Didi is Uber's biggest competitor and has picked Australia as its first Western market in its worldwide expansion.

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"Australia has diversified mobility needs, a business-friendly environment and an inclusive culture", Didi, which is backed by bluechip investors including SoftBank Group Corp and Apple Inc, said in a statement.

Didi Chuxing Technology Co Ltd, the Chinese ride-sharing company that bought the mainland operations of Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], will begin offering its service this month in Australia, its first foray in a Western-style country. The company isn't widely known outside of China, but it has been aggressively pushing into global markets this year.

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The Australia business will be operated by a subsidiary of Didi and it is offering several welcome packages to both riders and drivers, also commonly known as promotions and discounts.

Meanwhile, drivers will enjoy a flat and transparent commission rate of 20% in addition to introductory cash bonuses for completing 20 trips with DiDi, with the company noting: "Drivers who register before 25 June (pre-launch) will receive a $200 bonus after competing 20 trips within 7 days".

DiDi has also "opened a driver hub in Tullamarine to onboard and prepare drivers for the upcoming Melbourne launch".

So, what about the all-important app? "As DiDi grows in Australia it will introduce additional product features that will further improve its efficiency, safety and reliability".

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It remains to be seen how well Didi Chuxing will perform in Australia where like we said, Uber has established itself for quite awhile already, but it should prove to be interesting.

Its statement said it would "shape product offerings and user experience in Australia based on the feedback from drivers and passengers in Melbourne and Geelong", a satellite city 75 kilometres (46 miles) away.

Reportedly valued at a staggering $56 billion (£39.4 billion), the ride sharing company is the world's most valuable startup and merged with rival Uber in China back in 2016.

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