John Sciulli

Finding a ride just got a little easier for the estimated 1.1 million Americans who travel to China each year.

Samantha Shankman
September 18, 2015

Ride-hailing app Lyft this week announced a partnership with China’s largest ride-share company, Didi Kuaidi. The deal will make it much easier for users to find a car in either country; Lyft users traveling in China can hail Didi drivers from the Lyft app and Didi users can do the same on the Lyft app in the U.S. Users will be charged in their home countries, without foreign-exchange fees.

Didi has an impressive network throughout China. It claims to facilitate 3 million rides, or 99 percent of taxi rides hailed by mobile phones, in China each day. It aids another 3 million rides through its private car service, which it estimates as 80 percent of that market.

This could be the first of many partnerships that allow travelers to use their home apps to summon car services in other countries. The Wall Street Journal reports that Lyft and Didi are exploring partnerships with similar services in India and Singapore.

The deal, which goes into effect next year, gives Uber loyalists a reason to consider downloading the Lyft app. Uber, with a presence in more than 300 cities across 60 countries, has become a favorite for global travelers. Uber is active in 11 Chinese cities and already offering one million rides per day. Still, that’s far fewer than the 360 cities where its biggest competitor, and Lyft’s new teammate, Didi operate.

For those of you wondering, Lyft’s notorious pink mustache will not make the trip to China.

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