From ride-hailing business to online auctioneers, sharing economy platforms have created a market worth 1.95 trillion yuan ($298 billion) in 2015, according to figures released by the National Information Center. (Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese ride-hailing company Didi is eyeing an alliance with local peers abroad for its global expansion strategy, the company founder said Thursday.
"Demand for transportation services varies among different markets, and local companies are better positioned to meet these needs," said Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei during a panel discussion at the GMIC tech conference in Beijing.
"When we leave China we seek to share our technological abilities with our partners to make their transportation services more efficient," Cheng said.
Unlike rival Uber, which operates in 400 cities worldwide, Didi has invested in Uber's local rivals such as Lyft in the United States, Grab in Southeast Asia and Ola in India to form what Cheng called "a Star Alliance for ride-hailing services," as local firms know best how to serve customers in their markets.
Cheng said real dominance in Internet-based transportation services is not just a matter of scale, but about sharpening an edge in big data, cloud computing and other areas to meet transportation needs.
The Beijing-based start-up said earlier this month that it will allow Didi users to access Lyft's ride-hailing services when traveling in the United States.
Cheng added that similar programs will be launched soon with Grab, which operates in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
"It's a very local game," said Anthony Tan, CEO and co-founder of Grab, during the panel discussion.
Tan added that motorcycle ride services in some of Grab's Southeast Asia markets have proved popular as the bikes can wind through heavy traffic.