What happened: Germany’s BMW has obtained a ride-hailing license in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, through its wholly owned subsidiary in China. This makes BMW the first global automaker to launch ride-hailing services in the country. The company plans to push out the service in December.
Why it’s important: After the fierce competition witnessed by China’s ride-hailing industry since 2013, Didi has established itself as the largest player in the battlefield, holding between 90-95% of the market. However, Didi has never been short of new challengers, such as Meituan and BMW. More companies are entering the market in the belief that there’s room for growth in China’s ride-hailing industry. Consulting firm Roland Berger estimates that 40% of China’s taxi demand is unmet.