Logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters building in Beijing, China. Picture: Reuters/Jason Lee
Logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters building in Beijing, China. Picture: Reuters/Jason Lee

Uber vs DiDi Chuxing: Comparing e-hailing services

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Chinese e-hailing service DiDi Chuxing has this week started operations in South Africa, taking on Uber and Bolt.

DiDi Chuxing has started its registration process for drivers in Cape Town, South Africa, and will commence offering ride-hailing services in the province over the next few weeks.

The expansion comes after a successful pilot launch in Gqeberha on 1 March 2021. Since the pilot launch, more than 2 000 drivers in the city have already downloaded the DiDi Drivers app, enabling more than 20 000 residents, who have already signed up with DiDi, to reach their destination.

Only time will tell how successful DiDi will be as it goes head-to-head with Uber and Bolt. IOL TECH weighs up benefits, safety and Covid-19 precautions between Uber and the new e-hailing service.

DiDi Chuxing

According to a statement by DiDi Chuxing, the Chinese company “focuses on providing high-level resources, safe and flexible entrepreneurship opportunities for driver-partners, and reliable mobility options for the public.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact in South Africa and has rapidly changed our lives. As such, we decided to launch the DiDi platform in the country and offer a necessary, high- quality tool to mobilise recovery and reconstruction. Our platform creates better income opportunities for drivers and safer and more affordable mobility alternatives for the people of Cape Town, and hopefully the rest of South Africa very soon,” said Lyn Ma, DiDi’s General Manager for Africa.

Benefits of DiDi

DiDi delivers a wide range of safety features to benefit users and driving partners. This includes facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons for riders and drivers linked to the local police, 24/7 support via a dedicated safety hotline, preview information for riders and drivers as well as safety training for drivers.

DiDi fight against Covid-19

In the fight against Covid-19, DiDi has introduced Health Guard technologies to ensure that masks are worn during trips, all vehicles are disinfected and have provide financial assistance to driver-partners in overseas markets through a dedicated $10 million relief fund.

Didi transportation options and network

The company offers a full range of app-based transportation options to more than 550 million users in Asia, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, including Taxi, Express, Premier, Luxe, Bus, Designated Driver, Business Solutions, Bike Sharing, Electric Bikes Car Rental, Food and Groceries Delivery.


Uber boasts a few million users after a successful launch in South Africa in 2013.

Benefits of Uber

Uber has a number of benefits that users enjoyed over the years. Uber has a function that allows you to share your ride with friends and split the fare (provided you ensure social distancing.)

You can also make use of the 'saved places’ feature that let’s you save the addresses of the places that you frequently attend like your workplace or your mom’s house.

There are a host of safety features. With a single tap, you can inform others of where you are. There is also a shortcut to emergency services on the app.

Uber fight against Covid-19

Uber has taken action to curb the spread of the coronavirus and has a team available 24/7 to support public health authorities in their response to the epidemic.

Uber also temporarily suspends the accounts of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. In the event that a driver or delivery person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual is asked to self-isolate and will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account is on hold. Drivers are also instructed to clean their cars thoroughly with disinfectants

Uber transportation options and network

Uber users around the world enjoy various services such as UberX, Uber Pool (shared rides like in a carpool), Uber Comfort which provides plenty of legroom, Uber Green which are sustainable rides in electric vehicles, Uber Black for those who love to live luxuriously, Uber Bikes which is an on-demand electric bikes, Uber Scooter to help you get around your city, Uber Transit, Uber WAV which provides rides in wheelchair-accessible vehicles, Uber Taxi and Uber Auto. It claims to serve over 550 million users in 16 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and Australia.


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