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China's ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing is expanding to Australia

The company absorbed Uber China in 2016, and is slowly going global.

Apps of Uber and Didi Chuxing on smart phone.  Uber is
Zhang Peng/Getty

Ever since outperforming Uber in its home base of China, speculation has mounted that ride-hailer Didi Chuxing would eventually branch out to the rest of the world.

Didi's first launch in an English-speaking country comes on June 25, it was announced Friday, when it'll start operations in Melbourne, Australia. The company has already begun recruiting local drivers.

While you might not have heard of it, Didi is China's most popular ride-hailing service, and in 2016 absorbed Uber China in a deal worth around $35 billion.

It's since branched out to Taiwan and Hong Kong, and just months ago in April launched in Mexico. Didi hasn't found a US presence yet, though it acquired a permit from the state of California in May to test fully driverless cars on public roads. The company says it'll be focusing its 2018 expansion efforts on Australia, Latin America and Japan.

Australia's ride-sharing market has filled up over the past months, with competition from Taxify, Indian company Ola and now Didi. Right now, though, Didi's launch is Melbourne only, with no word yet on when other Australian cities will get the service.