China’s Didi Chuxing in car rental partnership with Avis Budget
China’s leading ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing has hooked up with US car rental business Avis Budget Group to enable over 300 million Didi users to rent cars via its app when they travel globally.
Under the partnership, Didi users will be able to book car rentals at airports and neighbourhood locations in over 175 countries and regions around the world from the Didi app, the company said.
The move comes as Didi continues to expand its portfolio of transportation options to its users. Didi, which started out as a taxi-hailing app in China, has since expanded into providing private car-hailing, chauffeur services, car rentals and even bus services in certain Chinese cities.
“Internationalisation is a clear mission for Didi. The partnership with Avis Budget Group is a key step in Didi’s broader initiative to go global ... together we will provide quality local travel experience across the world for China’s fast-expanding outbound travellers’ community,” said Fu Qiang, senior vice president of Didi Chuxing and general manager for Didi Car Rental.
The strategic partnership will also see both Didi and Avis coordinate product, technology and local marketing resources.
This is not the first time Didi has worked with an overseas company in offering services for outbound Chinese tourists.
In April this year, Didi and US-based Lyft launched a cross-platform network that allowed Didi’s users to hail a car with the app in the US, while tapping into Lyft’s network of drivers.
Tapping into the outbound Chinese tourist market offers much potential for companies like Didi as more Chinese grow increasingly affluent and choose to take vacations abroad. In the first quarter of 2016, 30.2 million Chinese outbound trips were taken, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.
Didi had previously focused on gaining market share on its home turf but faced fierce competition from then-rival Uber.
In August, the battle between Didi and Uber came to an end when Didi acquired Uber China. Last month, Didi launched a separate, upgraded Uber app for users wanting to hail an Uber driver in China.
Since the acquisition of Uber China, president of Didi Chuxing Jean Liu has said that the company aspires to be “global” and could evaluate new international markets and work with or even compete against local players in markets where there are no strong local ride-sharing companies.