DiDi, the ‘Uber of China’, has launched in two more Queensland markets – but still no Sydney

Didi is coming to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Martin Ollman/Getty Images
  • Ridesharing service DiDi Express has launched on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast on Monday, further rivalling Uber and Ola in Queensland.
  • The ridesharing service is already available in Melbourne, Geelong, Newcastle and Brisbane, but it’s yet to head to Sydney and the rest of Australia.
  •  As an incentive to attract new users in the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, DiDi is offering 50% off their first three trips when they install the app.

Chinese ridesharing service DiDi Express launched on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast on Monday, continuing its Australian expansion.

The service which competes with the likes of Uber has been rolling out to different Australian cities since 2018 when it launched in Geelong. It has since become available in Melbourne, Newcastle and, most recently, Brisbane in July.

Claiming it had racked up more than one million trips in Brisbane, DiDi has now moved to Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. The rideshare service on the Gold Coast will be available as far north as Stapylton and as south as Coolangatta. In the Sunshine Coast, it will be available from Caloundra and Beerwah in the south through to Noosa up north.

While the three areas combined are home to around three million people, Didi is surprisingly yet to dip its toes into the five million-strong Sydney market.

“Launching in Sydney isn’t part of our short-term strategy, however, we ultimately look forward to bringing our rideshare service to the Sydney market, where we have seen a need for a safe, reliable and value-for-money rideshare service,” spokesperson Dan Jordan told Business Insider Australia.

Eyeing further expansion in an already crowded and competitive market, DiDi claims it holds a competitive edge.

“We’re on average about 10 per cent more affordable than the other ride sharing services,” DiDi spokesperson Dan Jordan said, according to My GC.

To help it gain a foothold, the service is offering a number of promotions to attract drivers and riders alike. While its drivers are normally charged a 5.5% service fee, those who sign up the service before September 23 will be granted a four-week grace period.

Then there are incentives for passengers who sign up for DiDi on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Those who signed up on the DiDi-Rider App before September 23 will get 50% off their first five trips — which is valid for 21 days and capped at $10 per trip. Those who get the app after September 23 will get 50% off their first three trips, which is valid for only 14 days and capped at $10 per trip.

Jordan told Business Insider Australia in an email that Geelong was chosen as DiDi’s first Australian market largely due to it having the highest ridesharing penetrations of any city in Australia at the time.

“Following the success of Geelong, Melbourne was chosen as the next destination as an expansion of the service in Victoria in a city that had embraced rideshare,” he said.

“DiDi has taken time to build a strong foundation in Australia and gain an intimate knowledge of the market before expanding its rideshare service nationwide. We have taken a collaborative approach and listened to the community to ensure we can provide a truly localised mobility solution to Australians.”

DiDi Express is just one app offered by its parent transportation platform DiDi Chuxing. The company also offers bike-sharing, e-bikes and car rentals. In 2016 DiDi Chuxing purchased Uber’s business in China, owning a virtual monopoly on ride-sharing in the country.

And now it seems it’s stretching across Australia — or at least the Sunshine State.

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