China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS -

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.

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