Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing has entered into South Africa, opening up its registration process for drivers in the nation’s second largest city, Cape Town, and laid down a challenge to Uber and Bolt in Africa’s fifth most populous nation.
The expansion follows the launch of a pilot in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, earlier this month. During the trial, Didi connected more than 2,000 drivers who transported more than 20,000 residents.
“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.
South Africa is the first country in Africa to welcome Didi’s services. Outside of China, it also has presences in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Russia, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina. Next month, the company plans to begin introducing its service in Ecuador.
In South Africa, Uber and Bolt are the dominant services with both serving across cities including Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, East London, Cape Town, Kimberley, and more.