No, Didi is not going to operate a rideshare gig in Israel, what they are doing is taking a venture capital exploratory trip to find the next great technological breakthroughs they can invest in and buy.
Israel has been at the forefront of Global software hi-tech startups for over two decades and is considered to be one of the major global contributors to all things cyber.
China and Israel have great relations since the Chinese vie after Israeli technology and view the country as the worlds "tech lab." Didi, conforming to Chinese custom, is now fishing for some serious advantages that will set it ahead in the race for rideshare and autonomous vehicle development.
The team of senior managers from Didi will land in Israel in mid-March and begin an intensive tour of facilities around the country.
Didi President Jean Liu. Photo: Bloomberg
The delegation will include Didi president Jean Liu and Didi co-founder and CTO, Bo Zhang. They will concentrate on companies developing smart mobility, and electrical vehicles autonomous driving.
Didi currently rules the Chinese market, with a presence in over 400 cities and over 450 million registered customers, they perform around 25 million rides a day, which is about 7 billion rides a year.
Didi has also expanded its influence on a global scale, with deals that have placed it in Japan, Brazil, Mexico and now the US with Lyft. Didi also invested in Grab, Ola, and Careem, as well as in Taxify. Didi is also partly owned by Uber and Didi has a director on Uber's board too.
According to reports, around 50% of all Didi employees are engineers and data specialists, where the company is developing everything from a smart city to a driverless car, as well as collaborating with Chinese automaker BAIC to build cars as well.
We will report the outcome of the Israeli jaunt, after as and when it is being reported.
Quick end note on the Chinese Israeli romance:
China is a manufacturing giant that lacks leading-edge technology development. Israel is a small country without much production clout but a high infrastructure in start-ups and technology. The two countries have decided to join forces, where China will invest in Israeli Universities, China will invest in Israeli start-ups and companies, and as China buys out Israel, Israel will enjoy the income generated from this giant as well as the extra patronage form a country that is as strong as the US in military might, something the Israelis need constantly.