China’s Uber rival Didi making a move in Middle East and North Africa

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Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has announced plans to expand its business in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Uber rival said it would enter into a strategic partnership with the Dubai-based car booking service Careem to strengthen its presence in the region.

It follows the firm’s decision last Tuesday to team up with another Uber rival, Taxify, to grow its operations across Europe, Africa and Asia. The company has been setting up similar deals in Latin America, and with the U.S. ride-hailing app Lyft.

“Growing urban populations and economic and social diversity in the Middle East and North Africa region present enormous opportunities for the ride-hailing economy,” Didi Chuxing CEO Cheng Wei said in a press statement on Tuesday.

“Through technology exchange and co-development, we look to support continued growth and transformation of the region’s transportation industry, tap into the significant potential of the local internet economy and foster more innovative services for a broader network of communities around the world.”

Last year, Didi Chuxing triumphed over Uber in China, buying the company’s Chinese business. It is believed that this was owed in part to a fall in profitability. Former CEO Travis Kalanick said the start-up was losing $1 billion a year in the country.

According to Didi, the company provides taxi and private car hire services to more than 400 million people in 400 cities, using big data-driven artificial intelligence technology.

“Didi Chuxing brings leading edge AI capabilities, insight and expertise to our organization as we enter our next phase of growth,” Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikha said in a press note.

“This evolution in our long relationship will enable Careem to more effectively pursue growth opportunities through continued innovation and sustainability.”

Source: CNBC