In March, Uber competitor Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”), started onboarding drivers in Cape Town, South Africa, after what it called a successful pilot in the city of Gqeberha, in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Didi is now launching in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Pretoria in Gauteng on August 23in its expansion across the country to offer a high-quality mobility service to both riders and driver-partners, that is affordable, quick, reliable and safe. Didi drivers can use geofencing to opt-out of servicing unsafe areas.
Apart from geofencing, DiDi brings its wide range of safety features to benefit users and driving partners, including facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons for riders and drivers linked to local police, 24/7 support via a dedicated safety hotline, preview information for riders and drivers, and safety training for drivers, among others.
In March, DiDi said it had signed up more than 2,000 drivers in Eastern Cape in less than a month and helped more than 20,000 local residents with mobility and delivery services.
“South Africa has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic that has upended all of our lives – so as this beautiful country looks to recover and rebuild, we would like to do our part, to be a partner in building back better by providing better earning opportunities for drivers as well as safer and more affordable mobility options for everyone,” said Stephen Zhu, Senior Vice President and Head of DiDi’s International Business.
With the the launch in South Africa, DiDi now offers ride hailing services in 15 countries outside of China, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Ecuador.
Didi is not new to African markets entirely as it was an early investor in Bolt, when it was still called Taxify and also put money into Careem, MENA’s biggest mobility platform. The lessons gained as an investor are enough for Didi to launch and scale across Africa.