How do ride-hailing giants Didi and Uber compare?

Heard of Didi? If not - you should have.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RENAISSANCE CAPITAL, PRINCIPAL, KATHLEEN SMITH, SAYING:

"... it's big. It's bigger than Uber."

When the ride-hailing giant went public on June 30, it was the biggest U.S. IPO for a Chinese company in seven years.

So how does Didi measure against fellow industry heavyweightUber?

Let’s compare.

WIPE: How they operate

Unsurprisingly, Didi's main ride-hailing business is in China - but it has a presence in 15 countries, including Japan, Australia, Russia, South Africa and across South America.

Uber, on the other hand, offers rides in 70 countries - and gets most of its revenue from the U.S. and Canada.

Uber may have a further reach in terms of geography.

But as of 2020 it only has 5 million drivers worldwide, versus Didi’s whopping 15 million.

Most Uber drivers take their own cars to work, but a lot of Didi drivers rent through fleet management partnerships with carmakers including Toyota and Nissan.

Alongside ride-hailing, both companies have taken bites out of the food delivery market too.

WIPE: The balance sheet

Uber is technically worth more - with a market capitalisation of $95 billion…versus Didi’s $67 billion.

From 2018 through 2020, Didi was loss-making.

But in the first quarter of this year, the company turned that around with a $30 million profit.

Uber keeps on losing money, but has promised investors to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of this year.

From investors' perspectives, Didi holds an inherent risk.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RENAISSANCE CAPITAL, PRINCIPAL, KATHLEEN SMITH, SAYING:

"... I think investors are a little worried about regulatory crackdowns that China is putting on its companies and on this company in particular regarding anti-competitive practices and how it compensates its drivers."

WIPE: What's next?

The two have different tacks when it comes to self-driving tech.

Didi is working on autonomous technology with Chinese carmaker, GAC.

Uber, however, sold its self-driving unit in December to startup Aurora.

Instead it's set its sights on building bespoke ride-hailing models - teaming up with British electric van and bus maker Arrival, with models due to go into production in 2023.

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