Lyft and Didi Kuaidi Form Alliance to Combat Ubers Rise

lyft-combo.jpgTaxi-hailing apps Lyft and Didi Kuaidi have announced a strategic partnership that is aimed at challenging Uber for global dominance of the taxi app ecosystem as competition becomes fiercer than ever between various services.

The partnership will mainly involve the companies sharing technology, product development and local resources, but will also enable US Lyft users who travel to China (where Didi Kuaidi is based) to pay with dollars on the Didi Kuaidi app, and vice versa.

At a press conference last week, John Zimmer, founder and president of Lyft, called the partnership “the first step toward global coverage”, and the two companies have been fairly open that the alliance is intended to challenge Ubers place as presumptive winner of the taxi app race.

Uber has been investing heavily in China, with the companys Chinese branch having recently closed a $1.2bn round of funding and plans to expand to 100 additional cities in the next year. In fact, Ubers three most popular cities are all in China, and the service is taking off faster in China faster than it ever did in its native US.

By themselves, neither Lyft nor Didi Kuaidi are in a position to challenge Ubers size or capitalisation, but together their combined infrastructure may pose some problems for Uber in the future, especially in China where Didi Kuaidi has also just received a new injection of funding.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Lyft and Didi are even in talks to expand its alliance to include other ride-hailing companies, such as Indias Ola and Singapores GrabTaxi.

“Our world continues to become more connected, and yet each market has its own unique culture, challenges and opportunities,” said a Lyft spokesperson in a blog post on the alliance. “Partnering with Didi, the only company that provides complete coverage in all major Chinese cities, is the best way to provide a simple, seamless experience when people travel to China and the United States.”