Chinese ride-hailing firm DiDi has decided to increase its participation at Brazilian markets, where the company has just acquired a home-grown counterpart called 99. “DiDi and 99, two young companies founded in 2012, are going to do bigger things together,” DiDi’s founder and CEO Chen Wei recently told Brazilian executives and employees, according to Xinhua news agency,
Clients of 99 in some 500 cities across Brazil were also notified of the changes with a text message titled “A special day in the history of 99.” “From now on, you will get even more benefits from using 99, because we will have more technology and more financial resources to offer you increasingly better service,” the message said. The startup 99 is a pioneer in its field in Brazil, with some 300,000 drivers and 14 million registered users.
Global competitor Cabify, a Spanish venture that last year acquired Easy Taxi’s operations in Brazil, believed the fusion between 99 and DiDi will benefit the ride-hailing sector in general. The head of Cabify in Brazil, Daniel Bedoya, said “99’s acquisition by a Chinese company breaks Uber’s (market) dominance. It represents a consolidation of the sector, providing a more equitable atmosphere for competition and more options for clients.”Bedoya also said sector companies should not compete in terms of pricing, but in quality of service, to provide users with more comfortable rides and greater conveniences.