What happened: Chinese ride-hailing company Banma Kuaipao (斑马快跑) is now rebranded as “Banma Ride-hailing” (斑马网约车). Banma recently completed a new round of funding, raising RMB 300 million from QJY Capital. The company also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Zotye Auto, under which Zotye Auto will provide Banma with new energy and gasoline vehicles. The company plans to move its R&D and operation headquarter to Beijing from Wuhan in the near future for the purpose of recruitment.

Why it’s important: Banma has obtained 125 licenses in China—more than Didi Chuxing and many other competitors have. The company said it has been focusing on obtaining licenses in second and third-tier cities, while other competitors like Didi Chuxing, Shenzhou, Shouqi focus on first-tier cities. Banma is currently the fifth largest ride-hailing platform in China.

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.

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