What Uber Rivals In Africa Can Learn From Didi’s Dominance In China

What Uber Rivals In Africa Can Learn From Didi’s Dominance In China

China’s largest ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing’s dominance and eventual take-over of Uber could provide a great playbook for African rivals to fend off the biggest U.S. ride-hailing company from squeezing them out of market.

Didi confirmed on Monday confirmed it had acquired Uber China. The deal ended Uber’s two year unsuccessful battle to penetrate into one of the toughest markets in Asia and confirmed Didi’s position as the leading taxi-hailing company, Reuters reported.

In Africa, Uber operates in about 15 cities and towns in eight countries on the continent, including Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. The world’s fastest-growing tech startup is however facing stiff competition from both local and international firms across the continent.

In Kenya, Safaricom, the largest telecoms firm in the region, launched Little Cab in July in what could become Ubers toughest competitor in the largest East African economy. The mobile operator has over 22 million subscribers and also owns a revolutionary money transfer services, M-Pesa, according to Quarts Africa.

With assets, Little Cab already has a vast ready market to tap into and expand its services to towns in Kenya, easily beating Uber’s current presence in just three urban areas — Nairobi, Thika and Mombasa.

In China, Didi pushed Uber out of the market by merging the top two ride-hailing firms, backed by internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent.

Black Americans Have the Highest Mortality Rates But Lowest Levels of Life Insurance
Are you prioritizing your cable entertainment bill over protecting and investing in your family?
Smart Policies are as low as $30 a month, No Medical Exam Required
Click Here to Get Smart on Protecting Your Family and Loves Ones, No Matter What Happens

If other taxi-hailing firms, like Mondo Ride, Dandia and MaraMoja, operating in Kenya decide to merge with Little Cab, their consolidate force could easily outweigh Uber.

China’s dominant taxi-hailing firm also partnered with buses, chauffeurs and other services while Uber stuck to privately owned cars, something that limited the U.S. firm’s availability to customers.

Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya are some of the continent’s most populous nations with a vibrant public transport system.  This offers Uber rivals an opportunity to penetrate into the public transport, a move that Didi used to knock Uber out of the Chinese market, according to Reuters.

The other unchartered territory Uber rivals in African can utilize is the motorcycle taxis, popularly known as boda boda, that are used widely in many cities on the continent.

In Uganda and Kenya, boda bodas offer quick and affordable transport and are booming business in the urban and rural areas.

Romania-based Mondo Ride, which launched in Kenya in January, started offering motorcycle taxis services to its customers, something Uber is yet to do.

Uber’s operations in Kenya and South Africa is also facing friction from its own drivers, who are protesting against 20 to 40 percent price cuts in August. Rival operators in these countries can attract the aggrieved Uber drivers by offering them better rates.

Ryda, a firm that offers three main rides depending a client’s preference, is Uber’s biggest competitor in South Africa, according to a htxt.africa report.