Almost three months after being acquired by Didi Chuxing, Uber China announced Tuesday its first major move after the transaction – an upgrade to its mobile application.
The new app is going to be launched in some pilot cities today and across the country on November 3rd. Uber China will expand into 400 cities in China by the end of 2016, the company says.
A series of localized functional improvements were introduced and here are some of the major changes in the app.
The upgraded app maintains Uber China’s popular settings including its simple UI and 24-hour in-app customer service. Existing mainland users of Uber China may log in with their original accounts and will receive customized local offers and discounts during the upgrade process.
In the past, Uber in different Chinese cities features various services ranging from People’s Uber to Uber Black, UberX, UberXL. But the new app reduced the service categories to two features “People’s Uber+” and “Uber Black” to focus on the most popular ones.
The tie-up with Didi Chuxing has brought deeper integration with WeChat and QQ, services from Tecent, which is an investor of Didi. Users could share itinerary via QQ and WeChat.
Many successful local designs from Didi were added including vehicle color specification for users to better spot the car, in-app broadcast and text/voice messaging, as well as estimated fare display prior to user confirmation.
While a raft of localized features was added, the new app’s support for international users were weakened as compared with the previous app. For example, it is only available for mainland users, lacks an English interface and does not support international credit card payment. But the company says these features will be added in future updates.
“Uber China will invest more resources in enhancing our products while ensuring the affordability and reliability of our services,” said Kate Wang, Head of Operations of Uber China.
Apart from the product, Uber China has undergone major changes in its management. Uber China’s former head Liu Zhen left the team upon Didi’s acquisition and joined China’s Flipboard-like news aggregator Toutiao this week.
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