After receiving a massive $2 billion USD funding last week, China’s largest taxi-hailing app Didi-Kuaidi is adding a new alternative to its transportation platform: Didi Bus, a shuttle bus service for commuters. It comes at a time when similar services are being stamped out by wary authorities.

The service will start with 33 routes in Beijing and 10 routes in Shenzhen and will cover several hundreds journeys in the two cities by end of July, according to the company.

Didi Bus will initially be operated through WeChat, a popular IM tool developed by Didi Kuaidi’s investor Tencent. After following the official account of ‘Didi Bus’ on WeChat, users can register with their phone number and choose their commuting routes and time. Riders will receive an e-ticket which is charged on a pay-as-you go basis at a price of around 7-13 RMB ($1.12 to $2.09 USD) per ride, which is 3-5 times the price of public buses. The company has said it will will provide a freebie price of 0.01 RMB per ride for the first week of operation however.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.