China's Uber competitor DiDi Chuxing has arrived in Toronto
The most valuable ride-sharing service on Earth just put another feather in the cap of Canada's high tech industry by launching what's been described as a "major research facility" in Toronto.
Didi Chuxing, known simply as "DiDi" by most, is the Beijing-based technology conglomerate responsible for wiping out Uber in China.
Last year, the company launched its first North American research facility in Mountain View, California, close to Google, Microsoft, Symantec and other Silicon Valley biggies.
This week, it launched a second western research facility called DiDi Labs Toronto, which will focus specifically on intelligent driving and artificial intelligence.
"Toronto's inclusive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship makes it an incredible location for tech investment," said DiDi Senior Vice President Jun Yu at an inauguration event on Monday.
"We look forward to actively contributing to the flourishing local tech ecosystem, and to building deep partnerships for smart and sustainable transportation solutions locally and globally."
A press release from the company goes on to praise Canada as fast-growing global innovation centre.
"Studies show that a record $447 CAD million of venture capital has been injected into Canadian AI startups between 2015 and 2017," it reads, "with the country's AI talent pool ranking third in the world behind the U.S. and the U.K."
Bob Zhang, co-founder of Didi, at launch of Didi Labs in Toronto. Smart transport infrastructure, vehicle advances, and redefining relationship between people and vehicles. @Canada_China welcomes Didi to Canada! pic.twitter.com/jzwvXC42f7— Sarah Kutulakos 高诗如 (@SKutulakos) November 19, 2018
There's been no word yet on how many people the company intends to hire (or has hired already) but DiDi did reveal at the launch event that it had entered a "strategic partnership" with the University of Toronto.
The university and mobile transportation platform will be collaborating on projects in areas such as vehicle connectivity, vehicle autonomy, artificial intelligence and smart transportation.
Thanks again for your consideration, Amazon, but Toronto is good. We're real good.
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