Published on : Thursday, July 19, 2018
For Booking, this investment is simply another avenue to strengthen its foothold in China. Booking has already invested in the likes of Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency (OTA); Meituan Dianping, a group buying website that also sells travel products; and partnered with Xiaozhu, one of China’s largest home-sharing companies.
Known as “China’s Uber,” Didi Chuxing is China’s largest ride-hailing app. However, the app is primarily used to hail taxis, as opposed to peer-to-peer ride shares.
This business partnership will allow Booking to drive hotel bookings through the Didi app, giving the American company yet another avenue to advertise its offerings within the domestic Chinese market.
For Booking, the hope is that developing a substantial base of customers within China will result in their various platforms, which include Agoda.com and Booking.com, being used by Chinese tourists for booking accommodation when they’re outside of China as well, where their offerings are substantially more robust than many (if not all) of their Chinese competitors.
However, the partnership does not offer the option to book flights through Booking platforms like Kayak and Priceline via Didi.
While the extra money certainly does not hurt Didi, it’s also part of the company’s larger strategy to gain increased access to global markets.
The ride-hailing company largely has the Chinese domestic market locked down, but has made moves to expand to Mexico, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.
This is an effort to make sure its platform is available to both Chinese tourists and non-Chinese consumers. Although not all expansions have been direct ones, with the company often operating franchise models and working through partners