Didi says winter is coming, but Latin America is its spring

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You could be forgiven for thinking that senior management of Didi Chuxing, China’s largest rideshare app, were Game of Thrones fans waiting for the final season. The way they announced at the company's monthly company-wide meeting that Didi was cutting headcount 15% was as grim as a horde of white walkers: "winter is coming" ("全员会宣布过冬”). But the loss of those employees in China — as Didi focuses more on core business lines — will be offset by job growth elsewhere as international becomes a more important part of Didi’s growth strategy:

澎湃 新闻记者获悉,在“关停并转”和裁员的同时,2019年滴滴将在安技术、产品和线下司机管理及国际化等重点领域加大投入,继续招聘2500人

News reports say that while there will be “shutdown and transfer” and layoffs, Didi will also increase investment in key areas such as security technology, product and offline driver management, as well as and internationalization, recruiting 2,500 people.

Key to the internationalization strategy is Latin America. After buying Brazil’s 99 last year, working with Brazil’s Hub Fintech, and launching operations in Mexico, Didi has confirmed it is now expanding into the Pacific Alliance, Chile, Colombia, and Peru:

根据对滴滴出行在职业社交网站领英上的招聘公告分析,滴滴出行已从中国派出高管负责智利、秘鲁等市场的扩张,近几周开始在这些国家投放司机运营、危机管理、营销以及业务拓展人员的招聘广告。

According to the analysis of the recruitment announcement on Didi on LinkedIn, Didi has sent executives from China to be responsible for the expansion of markets in Chile and Peru. In recent weeks, job advertisements about drivers’ operations, crisis management and marketing and  business development positions have been released in these countries.

And indeed, just today Didi posted seven jobs in various places in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Over the last four weeks it has recruited for more positions in Latin America than it has in the United States or mainland China.

Didi’s focus on Latin America is indicative of two trends we have highlighted for this year:

  • Tech — and in particular tech services — is an area of growth in the Asia-Latin America relationship; and

  • As concerns about the slowdown in the Chinese economy continue to rise, Chines companies will look to Latin America as an area of growth.

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