Didi Chuxing, the leader in ride-hailing for China is continuing to expand internationally with its announcement of launching this month in Australia. Unlike Grab, which has seen Didi follow-on its investments, the Chinese firm sat out Ola's most recent fundraising a year ago despite making an investment in the company back in 2015.
Commenting on the win, Zenith Australia CEO, Nickie Scriven, said, "We are delighted to be appointed as DiDi's lead agency as we launch DiDi into the Australian market". The move comes after Didi entered other markets such as Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico earlier this year with Didi finally expanding beyond its empire, based in China.
The scheduled June 25 launch in Australia's second biggest city Melbourne sets Didi up for a showdown with the US rival it bought out in China in exchange for a stake.
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But just a day earlier, Australia's Sirtex Medical picked a US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) Chinese takeover offer that trumped USA firm Varian Medical Systems. Uber has routinely launched new offerings in the city, while several Chinese and Singapore-owned dockless bicycle rental companies have picked Melbourne to start in Australia.
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The Chinese company started recruiting drivers in Melbourne in early June "to warm responses", it added.
A DiDi spokesperson said in a statement: "The decision to appoint Zenith and Saatchi was unanimous as we felt that their strategy and ideas best represented our goals in the Australian market". It had also done a trial in Geelong, a satellite city 75 kilometers (46 miles) away.
In a statement, the company said: "Australia's diversified mobility needs, business-friendly environment and inclusive culture have encouraged DiDi to commit to a long-term investment to improve mobility solutions across the country".
This worldwide expansion has also brought a new level of confusion since Didi has cultivated relationships with other ride-hailing companies across the world while also expanding its own presence internationally.