Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August), has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.
Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch.
With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services.
It seems the company is on an upward trajectory since its desperation-fueled acquisition of Uber’s China ride-sharing business in 2016. At that time, both companies had failed to turn a profit in China, prompting Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick to more or less admit that Uber can’t actually win in every market – at least, not without some help. Uber retained its own branding in the acquisition.
The Apple Pay support news comes as Didi Select, a product launched in February that targets younger, urban, cost-conscious consumers, already surpasses one million rides. It also comes as the company’s high-end limousine service, Didi Luxe, launches a bilingual version in Beijing, with plans to extend multilingual service to other cities in the coming years.
All told, the ride-hailing service, which was founded in 2012, says it has around 400 million users across all services – again, including the bike rental service olo and the internet bus-booking service Didi Bus. It claims to transport over 20 million riders per day across 400 major Chinese cities.