BEIJING, China – In a deal that has added to the strategic capital of the largest Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, travel giant Booking Holdings has now poured in $500 million in investment into the company.
As part of the collaboration, Booking Holdings, which was formerly known as Priceline, is set to work closely with Didi to offer its on-demand car services through its app and website.
Using an integration, Booking.com apps will offer the car service, which Didi customers will also have the option to book hotels through Booking.com and its sister site Agoda.
According to Didi, which concluded a massive $4 billion funding round that closed at the end of 2017, the deal is not about the money – but is a strategic tie-up.
In striking the deal, Didi has now won Booking.com, Agoda and the other sides that Booking operates, like Kayak, Priceline.com, Rentacars.com and OpenTable, as a powerful ally.
The tie-up for China’s ride-hailing giant also comes at a time when it has been trying to expand its global footprint.
So far this year, Didi Chuxing has launched its services in Mexico, Australia and Taiwan.
Further, it has acquired Brazil’s local ride-hailing company 99 and has also announced plans to roll out its services in Japan.
According to analysts, Didi’s recent tie-ups help the ride-hailing giant link up with travel companies as it is now going from being just a ride-hailing firm to becoming a de facto platform for travel between both longer haul (flights) and short distance (public transport) trips.
What further explains this strategy of the company is that Didi has also doubled down on dock-less bikes and other modes of transportation.
On Tuesday, Stephen Zhu, VP of strategy for Didi, said in a statement, “Building on its leadership and expertise in the global online travel market, Booking is championing a digital revolution of travel experience. We look forward to seamlessly connecting every segment of the journey and improving everyone’s traveling experience through more collaborative innovation with the Booking brands on product, technology and market development.”
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