Transport: Car-hailing leader widens ambitions
Brand implements reforms to meet security problems
Added to the BrandZ™ China Top 100 this year, the transport category includes one brand, the car hailing service Didi Chuxing, which joined the ranking at No. 12.
Didi grew rapidly after its introduction in 2012, filling a gap in the market. At the time, Chinese consumers looking for convenient mobility had one option—traditional taxis. Growth accelerated four years later, when Uber’s Chinese business merged into Didi.
Recently, Didi has been promoting its service and recruiting drivers in lower tier markets. It also expanded into the automobile aftercare market with an acquisition, and it plans to open more physical locations.
These moves are part of Didi’s broader strategy to diversify across automobile services, including lease and rental, car sharing, fueling stations, and aftercare. Other growth initiatives include overseas expansion, with an acquisition to establish the brand’s presence in Latin America, initially in Brazil and Mexico. Didi also operates in Australia and Japan.
Rapid growth forced a reckoning, however. Following the deaths of two women passengers, Didi restructured parts of its business to rebuild consumer trust and satisfy government regulators who criticized certain practices, including background checks on drivers. To better protect both passengers and drivers, Didi added two new positions, a safety officer and a chief security officer.