Hello TransTech to launch carpooling service in 10 cities

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Chinese bike-rental firm Hello TransTech will launch a carpooling platform later this month, our sister site TechNode Chinese reports, marking its latest expansion into China’s increasingly regulated mobility sector.

The company is currently recruiting drivers for the service. Applicants are required to submit information including their identification number and drivers license. Hello TransTech has promised prospective drivers that the approval process will not exceed 48-hours and that they can make RMB 2,000 ($300) a month.

The company announced its recruitment plan earlier this month on its WeChat account (in Chinese). This was followed by another announcement saying its carpooling service will be available in 10 cities—including Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou—by the end of the month.

The move comes amid increased scrutiny of the mobility sector. Ride-hailing giant Didi faced mounting pressure from authorities to improve the safety of both drivers and passengers following the murder of two female passengers by its drivers last year. The company was forced to suspend its carpooling service Hitch following an investigation by regulators.

“It is the company’s top priority to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers,” a spokesperson from Hello TransTech told TechNode, adding that the company will provide 24-hour hotlines and full-time customer care for emergency situations.

Formerly known as Hellobike, Hello TransTech merged with state-owned public bicycle operator Youon Technology in October 2017. Two months later, it raised $350 million in a round of fresh funding led by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial. In September the company received nearly RMB 4 billion in a funding round led by Primavera Capital Group and Ant Financial.

In a bid to expand its operations, Hello TransTech partnered with Didi-rival Dida Chuxing in October, aiming to provide ride-hailing services to its users from within Hello TransTech’s app.