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DiDi Shuts Down Operations in South Africa

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DiDi, a Chinese ride-hailing services company, announced on Monday that it is shutting down operations in South Africa. The ride-hailing giant has been operating in the country for a year of ups and down.

According to TechCrunch, the company hasn’t given any reasons for its sudden exit from the SA market. The company officially ended operations in SA on Friday, 8 April 2022.

“Our aim has been to ensure a smooth transition for all and would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees, drivers, riders, and partners for the kindness and support shown to DiDi,” a Didi South Africa spokesperson said.

According to reports, the e-hailing service company hinted that it is looking to penetrate more promising markets like Egypt, where it launched later in 2021. It will also be making its debut in Nigeria soon, according to reports. Currently, it has operations in 16 countries around the world.

“We have re-evaluated where we can make the most positive impact in the short-term and are focusing on developing even deeper capabilities in other existing markets,” the SA spokesperson continued.

The ride-hailing giant had, according to reports, expected to compete on the same level as Uber and Bolt, which didn’t go as expected. These two ride-hailing services are currently the most popular e-hailing companies in SA.

DiDi’s sudden exit comes after the e-hailing service operators in SA called for the government to regulate the industry and ensure their safety. Among the grievances that the drivers cited was the ridiculously high petrol prices, resulting from the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Another point of contention was that the ride-hailing firms were allegedly charging high commissions which resulted in the drivers not getting much compensation for the work that they do. They also wanted to do away with promotions and discounts on the ride-hailing companies’ various apps.

By Zintle Nkohla

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