Brazilian ride-hailing service 99, which is controlled by China's Didi Chuxing, has reached cooperation with Facebook's chat platform WhatsApp.
With the cooperation, 99 will accept orders on WhatsApp, allowing users to request a ride without using another app.
This is reportedly the first time for Didi Chuxing to reach such cooperation in the world. It may give 99 an advantage in the competition with the American ride-hailing giant Uber, which currently holds a leading position in the Brazilian market.
Brazil has a total population of 210 million and WhatsApp has 120 million active users in this market, which means that Brazil is its second largest market after India. 99 has about 20 million users and more than 750,000 active drivers across Brazil.
According to Livia Pozzi, operating manager of 99, the above-mentioned service is initially limited to operations in four cities in Sao Paulo State, and will be expanded to the entire Brazilian market by the end of 2020. She said that this partnership mainly targets low-income Brazilians and users living in areas with weak mobile phone signals, who have weaker ability to download smartphone apps.