Exiting SA

Ride-hailing Didi to halt SA service from Friday — report

It's reported that the Uber and Bolt rival will cease operation on April 8

07 April 2022 - 15:47
The app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi on a cellphone.
Image: Reuters/Florence Lo The app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi on a cellphone.

Didi established its SA operations in April 2021 in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic with promises to upscale the ride-hailing industry with lower charges, innovations, such as free rides on certain days and an app with built-in safety measures, and the use of SA identity documents to verify travellers being considered for future integration. 

It started by servicing the Gqeberha area in the Eastern Cape and then moved across to Cape Town and Gauteng. 

It's reported that the company has confirmed that it's closing shop from April 8 in SA after failing to penetrate the market dominated by Uber, Bolt and smaller start-ups.

"The closure of business is part of our strategy adjustment from our managerial levels, though sad news for our loyal users,” according to an email said to be circulating.

Founded in 2012, it's China’s top ride-hailing company with a reported 600-million users in 17 countries. 

Didi invested R1bn to set up in SA, including enhanced safety measures such as facial recognition technology. 

From what we understand, Didi is permanently leaving the country.