China's Didi Chuxing announced their partnership with Avis Budget Group to allow over 300 million Didi users to rent cars through their app when they travel internationally. Didi continues to expand their operation portfolio with this move. They first started in June 2012 as Didi Kuaidi, a taxi-hailing app in China. Now they have expanded to over 400 cities in China and expanded their operations into providing private car-hailing, chauffeur services, car rentals and even bus services in certain Chinese cities. "Internationalization is a clear mission for Didi. The partnership is a key step in our broader initiative to go global. Together, we will provide quality local travel experiences across the world for China's fast-quality travel experiences across the world for China's fast-expanding outbound traveler community," said Fu Qiang, senior vice president of Didi Chuxing and general manager for Didi Car Rental. Partnering up with Avis Budget Group will allow help Didi make that internationalization to happen - as Avis currently operates in 175 countries. The Uber rival is a US car rental giant which consists of Avis, Budget Rent a Car and Budget Truck Rental.
The two giants will coordinate product, technology and local marketing resources under the agreement. The partnership will see Avis introduce an option for booking cars overseas inside the Didi App. The option is strictly for booking rental vehicles, not chauffeured cars or taxis. This will allow Chinese international tourists to be able to conveniently plan their trip before leaving home. The initial integration will go live as early as early 2017 ahead of Chinese New Year at the end of January. This holiday period is a very popular time for Chinese people to travel abroad and celebrate with relatives - overseas or not. In the first quarter of 2016, 30.2 million Chinese outbound trips were taken according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute. Didi had previously focused on gaining domestic market share against then-rival Uber. But that battle came to an end as Didi acquired Uber China which was fighting an expensive losing battle. Last month, Didi launched a separate, upgraded Uber app for users wanting to hail an Uber driver in China. Didi confirmed that this strategic partnership does not include any investment from either side.