Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest on-demand transportation service provider, said it will set up a 100 million yuan ($15.04 million) fund to help the country’s taxi drivers cope with the pressures and challenges brought by ride-hailing apps.
Themoney will be used to offer subsidies to drivers who “upgrade their services and award those actively engage in charitywork”, said the Beijingbased company in a seminar on Tuesday.
Themove is seen as Didi’s latest initiative in calming down taxi drivers, who have held several strikes in major cities to express their anger as their market share has been taken by privates cars operating on ridehailing apps.
“The model of booking rides via apps has revolutionized how people are transported in China, which inevitably brings pressure to the traditional taxi industry,” said Li Jianhua, chief development officer of Didi.
Didi said that in cities which have a high adoption rate for ride-hailing apps, rides completed by internet-enabled private drivers nowalmost equal rides completed by taxis.
Zhang Bei, vice-president of Didi, said his company is exploring newways to help taxis increase their operational efficiency in order to create a winwin situation.
He said that through big data, for example, Didi is able to help passengers travel on the same route in a carpool using the sametaxi. “Even if two passengers each pay only 60 percent of the original cab fare, taxi drivers can still earn 20 percent more,” said Zhang.
Didi, whichwas founded four years ago, claims that more than 14 million rides are completed via its platform every day.