China’s Didi has recently set new growth targets in the three years to 2025, with new incentives for drivers and riders, in its latest move to recapture lost market share in the country’s ride-hailing sector, LatePost reported Monday.
Why it matters: The move comes after Didi received a permit in January to resume new user registration and downloads through Chinese app stores for its ride-hailing service, marking an official end to a long-running regulatory crackdown on the company.
- The development also puts competitors such as Meituan and Alibaba’s Amap under pressure, although industry insiders warn of a bumpy road ahead for Didi in the face of softening market demand due to weakening economic conditions, according to the report.
Details: Didi recently informed investors that it is aiming for a 45% year-on-year growth in daily orders in 2023 and expects to keep the pace between 10% and 15% over the next two years, individuals familiar with the matter told Chinese media outlet LatePost.
- This implies that the company is expected to complete more than 29 million rides per day for the full year, rebounding from its lowest point of around 20 million last January, and increasing the number to nearly 40 million by the end of 2025.
- The annual target for this year is achievable, according to company insiders, with Didi starting from a low base in 2022 when major Chinese cities were repeatedly placed under Covid-19 lockdowns, dealing a blow to the country’s ride-hailing sector.
- The company delivered roughly 28.2 million rides per day on average in the first quarter of 2023, representing a 42% growth from a year ago, and increased its average number of daily rides to 29.4 million in the second quarter, according to its filings.
- However, Didi’s ambitious objectives for 2024 and 2025 may face significant hurdles amid shrinking demand. By the end of 2022, ride-hailing app users in China totaled 437 million, down around 15.5 million on the total from the year before, according to figures compiled by the China Internet Network Information Center.
- China’s biggest ride-hailing platform has increased its efforts to subsidize drivers and riders in recent months. A source estimated that the overall amount of subsidies could reach RMB 26.6 billion ($3.6 billion) this year, which would be equivalent to 14.8% of its total revenue at home, surpassing its previous level of 14%.
- Didi did not respond to TechNode’s request for comment.
Context: Didi has been scaling back its efforts in developing cash-bleeding, emerging new businesses, and refocusing on its core business over the last two years after the Chinese government launched a cybersecurity probe into the company in July 2021.
- Chengxin Youxuan, Didi’s community group-buy grocery unit, reportedly shut down more than 60% of its service locations shortly after the probe began, only a year after the launch of the service.
- The company announced the sale of its smart electric vehicle business to Xpeng Motors in August. It had previously launched an all-electric hatchback for ride-hailing with BYD in November 2020.
- Chinese authorities announced a RMB 8.02 billion fine for Didi last July, closing its 18-month crackdown on the mobility giant, which was initiated following its mega public listing in New York in June 2021.
- Didi had previously set big targets back in 2020. Notably, it had set its sights on overall daily orders surpassing 100 million globally for the next three years, with its four-wheel businesses in China, including ride-hailing and private chauffeurs, intended to account for half of this figure.