After a two-month lockdown, China is coming back to life. Even without a big marketing push or substantial discounts, Didi Chuxing has seen use of its ride-hailing apps recover to about 70% of their levels before Covid-19, as The Information previously reported. But Didi’s senior vice president Stephen Zhu hints that the West may not recover as fast—in the ride-hailing industry or more broadly.
In a rare interview, Zhu drew a contrast between the Chinese government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis domestically and the difficulties faced by countries in the West. The recovery “may look different” in Western regions, he said, implying it would take longer. And he said that unlike “other players” in the industry, Didi’s army of customer service reps are “on the street” or getting on the phone to help drivers disinfect cars and install safety equipment—and to answer their questions.