Today Lyft and Chinese ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing (formerly DiDi Kuaidi) unveiled a major partnership allowing users of each service to hail rides from either app. Specifically, the deal will enable Lyft users to hail DiDi rides while in China and vice versa.
Lyft shared the news during a media event in New York and revealed that DiDi invested $100 million in the company “earlier this year.” The partnership was first revealed by the Wall Street Journal.
During the event, Lyft president John Zimmer called the deal “our first step towards global coverage.”
“It’s just the start of our broad partnership, which will include financial components, and technological, product components,” he said.
Later, Zimmer declined to share the terms of the deal. Zimmer also declined to share if the companies had considered partnering with other Uber competitors, including India’s Ola.
This announcement follows an earlier report from the WSJ that claimed that DiDi participated in Lyft’s May $150 million funding round, alongside Tencent and Alibaba. That $150 million round was led by activist-investor Carl Icahn. At the time, Lyft said Icahn contributed two-thirds of the round.
Everyone vs. Uber
Increasingly, the global ride-hailing war isn’t everyone versus everyone; it’s everyone versus Uber.
Last we heard, Uber’s China entity alone has raised at least $1.2 billion — more than Lyft’s raised in total. Meanwhile, Uber’s competitors in China have merged and they’re throwing punches.
DiDi Chuxing is the result of the merger between former rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. And as we wrote last week, “Uber believes it is the victim of anti-competitive behavior” because “one of DiDi’s biggest investors, Tencent, seems to have blocked Uber” from using its incredibly popular messaging app, WeChat.
By partnering with Lyft, DiDi and its investors continue the entertaining trend of throwing money at just about anything that isn’t Uber.
DiDi also made headlines today for a rumored partnership with food delivery startup Ele.me.