Didi plans Middle East and North Africa expansion by teaming up with Symphony Investment

China’s largest ride-hailing platform is about to bookend Asia.

Photo: Provided to company with the press release

After entering Australia, Japan, and countries in Latin America, Didi Chuxing is now turning its gaze toward the Middle East and North Africa.

China’s largest ride-hailing company has formed a strategic agreement with Symphony Investment, which is funded by a cohort of multinational companies in the Middle East, Didi said in a press release. Among them, Emaar Properties is a Dubai-based conglomerate with business operations in properties, hotels, entertainment, and e-commerce; Noon is the largest e-commerce platform in the Middle East; Aramex is the leader in the region’s logistics sector; and Americana Group is one of the largest food manufacturing and distributing companies in the region.

In particular, Americana has also formed a partnership with Chinese beverage chain Luckin Coffee.

Didi and Symphony will set up a joint venture headquartered in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of promoting the sharing economy and internet consumer services in the United Arab Emirates and nearby countries.

Before Didi cruised into the region, Chinese online travel agency Ctrip tapped its ride-hailing market by teaming up with Careem, which operates in West Asia and North Africa. Ctrip has also linked up with Gett, which covers Great Britain, Russia, and Israel.

Didi has reportedly kicked off a new round of financing, aiming to raise up to USD 2 billion from investors.