Uber’s main rival in China Didi Kuaidi has launched a direct shuttle services in Beijing and Shenzen marking a new frontier for the China’s largest taxi- and car-hailing service. The South China Morning Post reports that the new project called Didi Bus, will concentrate on 33 routes in Beijing and 10 routes in Shenzen before eventually moving to other routes by end of July.
To use the service, users will be required to download WeChat, a hugely popular mobile networking app developed by Tencent, through which they will access the service via Didi Bus’s WeChat page. Passengers will be charged their fares on a pay-as-yo-go basis, with the target being passengers not sufficiently covered by available means of transport. With the Didi Bus service, passengers are assured of a seat on a bus, besides receiving information on their ride such as the driver’s name, license plate number of their vehicle as well as the carrying capacity. Didi Kuaidi has partnered with tourist companies as well as auto rental firms in implementation of the service.
On the first day of launch, the service was able to lock in 10,000 users with most users aged between 10 and 20 years. Didi Kuaidi was formed in February 2015, after the merger of rival apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. The company controls close to 80% of the Chinese market dwarfing Uber with 11%. Other than taxi-hailing services and shuttles, the company plans to offer chauffeur services similar to those offered by Uber, with its UberBlack service. The company offers its service to over 30 million customers daily, with 10 million driver partners signed up.
img credit: South China Morning Post