Didi strength­ens ties with taxi firms

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By OUYANG SHIJIA andMENGJING

Bei­jing-based Didi Chux­ing an­nounced on Wed­nes­day that it had signed a strate­gic part­ner­ship agree­ment with nearly 50 taxi com­pa­nies from more than 10 cities, in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Shen­zhen, to ex­plore ways to help up­grade the taxi in­dus­try.

Didi said it will ex­plore mea­sures, such as big data and other in­ter­net tech­nolo­gies, to match the right on­line trans­porta­tion re­quests with the right driv­ers, in or­der to boost the earn­ings of taxi driv­ers and im­prove op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency.

Cheng Wei, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Didi, said that Didi builds its busi­ness em­pire on taxi busi­ness. Tens of mil­lions peo­ple use taxis across the na­tion.

“Apart from shar­ing tech­nol­ogy break­throughs with taxis, Didi has been vig­or­ously fa­cil­i­tat­ing the in­te­gra­tion of taxis and other ve­hi­cles that pro­vides trans­porta­tion ser­vices via ride-hail­ing apps,” he said.

In the fu­ture, Didi will use a 100-mil­lion-yuan ($14.97 mil­lion) fund to re­ward taxi driv­ers that get higher re­views on Didi Chux­ing apps, ac­cord­ing to Cheng.

The an­nounce­ment came within a month of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment de­cid­ing to le­gal­ize car-hail­ing ser­vices from Novem­ber, which prac­ti­cally lev­els the play­ing field for taxis and other app-en­abled ve­hi­cles.

Af­ter car-hail­ing ser­vices de­buted in the coun­try in mid-2014, the lower prices soon at­tracted many pas­sen­gers, prompt­ing protests from taxi driv­ers across China.

Fights be­tween taxi driv­ers and car-hail­ing ser­vice driv­ers were of­ten re­ported by the me­dia.

“With the aim to cover the whole car-hail­ing ser­vices, Didi need to tap fur­ther into the taxi mar­ket. If Didi did not make the move, an­other sim­i­lar plat­form would take the busi­ness over,” saidWang Xiaofeng, an an­a­lyst at con­sul­tancy For­rester Inc.

As a one-stop mo­bile trans­porta­tion ser­vice provider, Didi of­fers a wide ar­range of op­tions to pas­sen­gers, from taxis to pri­vate car, car­pool to even bus and car-rental.

Con­tact the writ­ers at ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­nadaily.com.cn and mengjing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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