Chinese Ride-Hailing Giant Didi Plans to Enter Europe

February 25, 2021 7:48 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing plans to make its debut in Western Europe, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The SoftBank-backed company is considering rolling out ride-sharing services in markets that could include the UK, France, and Germany by the first half of this year. It has already set up a team dedicated to the European market and is hiring locally, said the report.

Outside mainland China, Didi now operates in 13 countries, mostly in Latin America. In August, it began offering car-hailing services in Russia, marking its first direct foray into Europe, and it’s already an investor in Estonia-based Bolt Technology OU, the continent’s main rival to Uber. 

The gig work model is facing scrutiny in Europe. Last week, the British Supreme Court ruled that Uber must treat its drivers as "workers", entitling them to vacation pay, rest breaks and minimum wage while using the app, a judgment which could have wider repercussions. 

European countries are also working on taxes aimed at tech platforms, and the continent imposes strict data privacy rules in the shape of the General Data Protection Regulation.