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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews Around the Republic of Mexico 

With Launch of Didi, Uber Faces a New Threat in Mexico

April 26, 2018

Didi Chuxing, China's dominant ride-hailing company, has launched in the city of Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico. The company says it plans to move into other major cities in Mexico later this year.

Mexico City - "Viaja con Didi." That's the message that Didi Chuxing, China's dominant ride-hailing company, is sending potential drivers and passengers in Mexico.

In a statement released Monday, Didi said it has launched in Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico and an urban hub about 60 kilometers west of Mexico City. This is the first time the company has introduced its ride-hailing service outside of China.

To operate in Mexico, the company said it has advanced its application and algorithm models, and also made innovations in key products such as a real-time SOS and its safety monitoring system. It says it plans to move into other major cities in Mexico later this year.

Didi is best known for driving Uber out of China in a vicious, costly battle. Its move into Mexico expands their rivalry.

Uber, which shifted much of its attention and resources to Latin America after retreating from China, is the biggest player in Mexico, with Mexico City one of its largest markets.

Didi is already challenging Uber in another Latin American country. It bought 99, a Brazilian ride-hailing startup, in January.

The Chinese company is entering the Mexico fight flush with cash. It secured $4 billion in fresh funds in December, saying at the time that it would use some of that money to fuel its global expansion.

Uber, meanwhile, just retreated from Southeast Asia, off loading operations in eight countries to Singapore-based rival Grab last month.

Selling the Southeast Asia business "puts us in a position to compete with real focus and weight in the core markets where we operate," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement at the time.

Mexico is one of those core markets. Uber launched there in 2013, and has battled with regulators to grow operations in the country. It currently operates across 41 cities in Mexico and holds 87% of the country's ride-hailing market, according to Dalia Research, a market research firm.

Sources: WFMZ Xinhua