Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing has officially opened for business in Mexico on Monday, beginning a test phase of its service in the central Mexican city of Toluca.
The Mexican launch marks the first time Didi has brought its own app-based ride service outside of Asia, a critical step in its expansion strategy.
In a statement released Monday, Didi said it has launched in Toluca, capital of the State of Mexico and an urban hub about 60 kilometers west of Mexico City.
"Internationalization is an important part of Didi's strategy," said the company. "Didi hopes to launch transport services in other important cities in Mexico by the end of this year."
To operate in Mexico, the company said it has advanced its application and algorithm models, and also made innovations in key products such as a real-time SOS and its safety monitoring system.
Didi began the driver selection in Toluca in early April with a very enthusiastic response, the company said.
Gerardo Tover, a 35-year-old American football coach who signed up as a driver, said the arrival of Didi is positive. "It has more advantages than Uber...and you feel a certain commitment from the company with a direct support."
Norma Montes, a 28-year-old driver, said that Didi charges less commissions from the drivers and offered cheaper trips to users.
Didi now provides up to 30 million daily rides for over 450 million passengers, and offers flexible work opportunities for over 21 million drivers.
The company said that in the future Didi plans to reach 80 percent of the global population and cover over 1,000 cities.