Ride-hailing platform Didi will allow users to book rides operated by other companies within its app, the company said in a statement on Monday. The move follows Meituan’s recent foray into ride aggregation services.
Why it matters: The new service includes cars from platforms operated by state-backed automakers FAW, GAC, and Dongfeng Motors. Didi says that it currently has around 550 million users in the country.
- Chinese carmakers are increasingly entering the ride-hailing market, as auto sales in the country plummet amid a slowing economy.
- Car sales fell by more than 10% in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier.
Details: Didi will help auto manufacturers through its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and operational experience to build their capacity operating connected vehicles, the company said in its statement.
- Didi said last month that it was looking to expand its partnership with GAC to include ride-hailing operations and autonomous vehicles.
- The company has also invested in GAC’s ride-hailing platform OnTime.
Context: In May, lifestyle services company Meituan, which runs its own ride-hailing platform, opened its app up to companies including Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur, Caocao Chuxing, and Shenzhou. Didi was not included in the service.
- Meituan had been running a trial of the operation in Nanjing and Shanghai. The company later expanded the service to cities including Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Ningbo, as well as Xi’an, Chengdu, Wuhan, and Shenzhen.