After beating Uber in China, Didi Chuxing wants to go global

The ride-hailing company plans to use its massive data analysis to take on rivals outside its home turf of China.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
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Didi Chuxing defeated Uber in China with its intricate algorithms.

Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty Images

Didi Chuxing took on Uber in China and won. Now the Chinese ride-hailing goliath expects to do the same around the world, even without home field advantage.

"We believe the expertise we built in China can benefit another market," Jean Liu, Didi Chuxing's president, said Tuesday at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, California.

Liu wouldn't give specifics, telling the audience to "stay tuned."

Didi Chuxing has long been referred to as "China's version of Uber." It handles 20 million rides a day, Liu said, three times more than the rest of its international rivals combined. In July, Uber dropped out of the Chinese market and sold its assets there to Didi Chuxing.

The Chinese company operates in Beijing, a city with more than twice New York's population, and stakes its success on analyzing a massive amount of data, nearly 70 terabytes a day.

Liu said Didi Chuxing's algorithm can predict with a 90 percent accuracy rate where users will be demanding rides about 15 minutes beforehand. Users can match their rides based on the trove of the data, while drivers have personalized routes based on their preferences. Didi Chuxing is still in its early stages of collecting data to build artificial intelligence for autonomous cars, Liu said.

"A lot of people think, 'Oh, 20 million rides, that means you're just a ride-share company,'" Liu said. "But in reality, we are a data company."

Liu hinted there is a "very good chance" Didi Chuxing will collaborate with Lyft in its global aspirations.

While Uber lost the battle for Beijing, the ride-share company still has a 17 percent stake in Didi Chuxing as part of a massive $35 billion deal. Chinese internet giants like Tencent and Alibaba have also invested in the company. In May, Apple invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing.

First published October 25, 2:03 p.m. PT
Update, 6:36 a.m. PT on October 26. Clarified Uber's investments in Didi Chuxing.