Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to take on US rival Uber in some of Latin America’s fastest-growing markets, recruiting managers in Chile, Peru and Colombia, Reuters reports, citing job postings and a company official.
Didi has moved senior executives from China to lead its expansion in markets like Chile and Peru, and began in recent weeks advertising for driver operations, crisis management, marketing and business development personnel in those countries, the report said.
Didi’s widening expansion, if successful, could make for a bumpier ride for San Francisco-based Uber Technologies in Latin America, one of its fastest growth regions.
The two firms are already battling in Brazil, where Didi bought local start-up 99 in January last year, and Mexico, where the Chinese firm lured drivers with higher pay and bonuses for signing up other drivers and passengers, the report noted.
Didi’s new Chile public affairs manager, Felipe Contreras, who was previously Uber’s corporate communications chief in Chile, confirmed reports that Didi was looking to hire a senior executive from Chilean cellular phone company WOM to lead its engagement with government and public policy operations.
“We haven’t announced a date; this is internal to the company,” the executive was quoted as saying when asked about the timing of the hiring.
Contreras confirmed the launch plans and told Reuters that the company’s aim is to be a “market leader” in Chile based on “quality”, in a market where Uber, Spain’s Cabify and Greece’s Beat already transport thousands of passengers a day.
Didi is still mulling the “best time” to launch its local service, he said, adding: “We are still in the planning and recruitment phase.”
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