Chinese mapping company AutoNavi (高德地图) has launched a ride-hailing service in Chengdu and Wuhan and is hiring drivers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou, with plans to launch in these cities, local media is reporting.

The company, owned by Alibaba, will not collect commissions from its drivers, allowing them to earn the full amount a passenger pays for the trip. Other operators, including Meituan and Didi, charge their drivers up to 10% the total cost of the trip. However, AutoNavi doesn’t provide its drivers with subsidies like other ride-hailing companies.

Alibaba could make use of the data it collects to enhance its location-based services capabilities. In 2015, AutoNavi announced the launch of LBS+, a platform that provides location-based service solutions to businesses in car rental, O2O, and smart devices.

It previously highlighted that it planned to monetize its platform through third-parties that use its data and trading user data.

The company is entering an already competitive space, with Didi and Meituan battling for their piece of the market. Most recently, Meituan launched its ride-hailing service in Shanghai, hoping to further challenge Didi.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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