Why Booking Invested in Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Didi
Booking Holdings is getting deeper into the transportation business.
The company, which owns brands including Booking.com, OpenTable, Kayak, and Priceline.com, has invested $500 million in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company.
There’s “lots of opportunities for Booking to start thinking about transportation” and “ride-hailing is an important part” of the strategy, said Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans at Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference on Tuesday. She explained that customers need transportation from the airport to their accommodation, or from an attraction back to the place they’re staying.
Tans also said that China has been an area of focus for Booking for a long time and that the company has played a big role in bringing other Chinese customers to the world (as well as visitors into China). She said that Booking has made a lot of investments in China, including on-the-ground customer care. “China, for the future, is enormously important,” she said.
With the investment, Didi will be available on Booking’s apps, and Didi customers will be able to book accommodations on Booking.com and Agoda.
For Didi, the investment is part of its push to expand globally, as it tries to battle Uber. Didi recently launched in Mexico, Australia, and Taiwan. It also acquired a ride-sharing company in Brazil.