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Didi is chasing Uber around the world

The Chinese ride-hail giant is now competing with Uber in at least five regions through investments in local players.

If Uber thought the days of fending off Didi Chuxing’s advances were over, the company was wrong.

Didi, China’s local ride-hail player that bought Uber’s assets in the country, has been busy investing in Uber competitors around the world. Most recently, the company announced it was investing an undisclosed amount in Middle Eastern ride-hailing company Careem.

Careem, based in Dubai, has been having discussions with Didi as well as with others it has previously allied with, like Lyft and Ola, since as far back as March 2016, as Recode first reported.

While Didi hasn’t physically expanded into any of these regions, the company has invested in and struck relationships with players in at least five additional regions. Before Careem, Didi lead a $100 million investment in Brazilian company 99. The company also recently invested an additional $2 billion in Southeast Asia’s Grab with VC firm SoftBank.

Didi world map

Prior to that, Didi invested an undisclosed amount into Europe’s Taxify, and in 2015 Didi also invested in and agreed to share some of its learnings with India’s Ola and Lyft.

Didi — backed by SoftBank and Apple, to name only two — wants to create a global network of local transportation players. The first iteration of that came in the form of a cross-booking platform wherein Didi users could hail a Lyft using the Didi app in the U.S. and vice versa. Grab and Lyft also launched their cross-booking app, but both have since been dissolved given that the cost and labor outweighed the returns.

Today’s strategy involves Didi backing Uber competitors with both resources and knowledge, as opposed to expanding its physical footprint either through a cross-booking app or actually scaling its operations.

Countries in which Uber operates

Uber, for its part, is still in many more cities (more than 550) than Didi is. Since folding its China operations, Uber has also merged its operations in Russia and some surrounding countries with competitor Yandex. The U.S.-based company is also seeing immense growth in Latin America. Mexico and Brazil are among the five fastest-growing markets for the company. Didi, however, is just beginning to gain some footing across the globe.

Click around to see the complex web of ride-sharing partnerships for Uber, Didi and more:

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