Move over Uber and Lyft: China’s Didi Kauidi taxi and ride sharing app may be coming to the US

Move over Uber and Lyft: China’s Didi Kauidi taxi and ride sharing app may be coming to the US
In the blink of an eye, ride sharing services and the apps that make them possible, have turned global and into a multi-billion-dollar industry. In the US, the big players are Uber and its smaller rival Lyft.

Uber has aggressively expanded its driver model around the world, with services available now in 300 cities in nearly 60 countries, including China, where things are getting really interesting.

China, as Earth’s most populous country, is a trove of opportunity for growing businesses. Uber is actually planning on spinning off its Chinese operations into a separate business, where it has been in fierce competition against that country’s own Didi Kauidi, another highly successful ride sharing service.

Having just raised over $100 million in new funding, Didi is reportedly investigating entry into the US market to bring home some competitive pressure to Uber. The official line from Didi is “no comment,” which, in far-eastern parlance leaves the door wide open for speculation since flat-out denials are not uncommon, despite a culture that does not always express what it truly means.

Didi Kauidi is apparently quietly shopping for R&D talent in the United States for the purposes of launching service as early as the beginning of 2016. While Uber has a big head start against any new competition, and Google is reportedly working on a self-driving solution, Didi is backed by Asian giants Alibaba and Tencent, so money is likely not a major obstacle.

What may prove to be the biggest obstacle is consumer trust. A lot of people do not care for, or use the Uber app due to the huge amount of data collection involved. Regardless of motive, there is a barrier of trust when it comes to doing business with Chinese companies.

Have you used Uber or Lyft? What do you like or dislike about them? What would you like to see in a new competitor, should it land in the US?

source: Tech in Asia

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