An employee shows the app of China's Didi Chuxing as they launches their ride service in Toluca, Mexico, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Chinese ride sharing company Didi Chuxing launched its service in Mexico on Monday. The service, which is now available in the city of Toluca, brings major competition to ride sharing company Uber, which is very popular in the country.

It is the first time that the ride sharing company brings its services outside of Asia, where it has had lots of success since the company was founded in 2012. The Didi Express service is only available in one city but the company has bigger plans for 2018.

The service has also introduced a number of features for its drivers and users, especially on safety. The company revealed that its teams in the country and other places such as Beijing studied the market.

The service has features such as a new emergency button in the app that connects users and drivers to authorities and emergency services. The company has its drivers center in Toluca.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Brazilian ride sharing company 99. The acquisition gave Didi Chuxing presence in Latin America. Brazil is a major ride sharing market and a place where Uber and other ride sharing companies are popular.

Didi Chuxing started recruiting drivers in Mexico just weeks ago. The company promised its drivers not to take a percentage of their fares until June 17. After that, the company will take a 20 percent cut, according to Reuters.

Didi Chuxing’s arrival brings major competition to Uber and other ride sharing companies in Mexico. Uber is said to be the most popular there with about seven million users. Uber launched in Mexico City back in 2013.

Didi Chuxing has said that it hopes to bring its service to other Mexican cities later this year. The service is only available in Toluca, the fifth largest city in Mexico.

Didi Chuxing and Uber are long time rivals in the ride sharing industry. In 2016, after a long battle with ride sharing companies in China, Uber sold its operation to Didi Chuxing. At the time, Didi Chuxing said Uber’s branding would remain intact in the country. The company also said that for the time being, they would operate independently.

Didi Chuxing, founded in June 2012, has over 400 million users in China and more than 7,000 employees. The company’s expansion now appears to be headed to Latin America, with a recent acquisition in Brazil and now a launch in Mexico.

 

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