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Home Startups Didi Chuxing, UAEs Symphony Investment launch JV to Build Internet Ventures in MENA

Didi Chuxing, UAEs Symphony Investment launch JV to Build Internet Ventures in MENA

by Stella Kabura
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China’s ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”) has announced a partnership with Symphony Investment to provide linkages for entrepreneurs working across the MENA region and China.

Didi has investments in both Bolt and Taxify in the region. The new JV headquartered in Abu Dhabi, with an aim to promote sharing economy and internet consumer services in the region, is likely to see Didi invest in many more local internet companies.

The agreement was signed at the UAE-China Economic Forum, which was organized by the UAE Ministry of Economy and co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC. HE Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the UAEHE, and Yu Jianhua, Vice Minister of Commerce of the PRC, attended the signing ceremony.

Economic ties between the Middle East and China continue to strengthen. China is the second largest trading partner of the MENA region, and bilateral cooperation has expanded from commerce to finance, manufacturing and advanced technology.

Technology and business development in China’s AI industry has created new opportunities for international cooperation on innovation. The investment institutions in this partnership will actively partner up with leading Chinese technology companies to leverage their respective strengths, facilitate resource sharing and bring new technology and operational advantages to stimulate economic growth and local business innovation in the region.

For a start, the partners aim to deliver better products and services to consumers to promote the sharing economy ecosystem and further contribute to economic development and collaboration between China and the MENA region.

Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi is evaluating joining the consortium to develop collaborative innovation projects in the region.

China’s Didi Chuxing made a strategic investment into Careem, with a premise of sharing knowledge in intelligent transportation technology, product development, and operations and is a great step towards Didi’s mission to build an open and sustainable global mobility ecosystem.

The deal also gave it access into Careems more than 12 million customers and a variety of mobility services and markets. There are currently over 250,000 drivers on its platform in more than 80 cities across 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine.

The deal opened up Careem to Didi technology and partnerships with other brands like US based Lyft, India’s Ola, Taxify in Africa and Europe. Didi is powered by big data-driven AI technologies and offers Taxi, Private Car, and other mobility options to over 400 million users in 400 cities with a daily ride volume surpassing 20 million.

Earlier, Didi Chuxing invested an undisclosed amount in Taxify in Europe and Africa to expand its web of influence across the continent and support the Taxify’s further growth and innovation across its diversified markets. Taxify, now known as Bolt had both taxi- and private car-hailing services serving over 2.5 million users in major hubs across 18 countries, including Hungary, Romania, the Baltic States, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Didi promised to bring AI technologies and an extensive range of mobility services by leveraging its AI capabilities to help cities develop integrated and sustainable smart transportation solutions.

The two firms were to release joint partner products by collaborating and leveraging each other’s technology, local market knowledge and business resources so that international travelers can seamlessly access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home. Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API, providing the best global experience for the millions of travelers that cross between the U.S., Southeast Asia, India and China every year.

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