Car hailing gears up for bitter fight
Bank pumps 5b yuan into Dingding Yueche as battle for sector hots up with Didi and Uber
China Everbright Bank’s financial leasing arm will invest 5 billion yuan ($743 million) in Pang Da Automobile Trade Co Ltd’s (PD Group) car-hailing app Dingding Yueche, further intensifying competition in the industry after regulators in majorChinese cities rolled out strict requirements for car-hailing services.
The two sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Beijing on Thursday. The investment will support Dingding Yueche’s expansion in the car-hailing market, enhance car-hailing efficiency, reduce vehicle costs for drivers and guarantee drivers’ income.
Dingding Yueche has offered multiple app-based transportation options, including taxi hailing, private car-hailing, ride-sharing, chauffeuring and buses in many cities across the country.
New players in the sector are ramping up the competition in the nation’s fastgrowing ride-hailing sector. Founded last September, Shouqi Limousine and Chauffeur affiliated to Beijing Shou Qi Group, is quietly rising and getting ready to take on Didi Chuxing and Uber.
The car-hailing company has launched operations in 30 major cities, owns more than 8,000 vehicles and takes more than 40,000 orders each day.
Several days ago, transport authorities in Beijing and Shanghai issued draft local regulations on drivers and private vehicles, requiring that drivers have a local hukou (household registration), which means people from other cities are unable to provide services in those cities.
Shouqi Limousine and Chauffeur said all of its drivers were previously taxi-drivers from Shou Qi Group and had a local hukou. Analysts said these vehicles and drivers seem to conform with the newregulations.
Wang Chenxi, a transport analyst for internet consultancy Analysys said: “Dingding Yueche and Shouqi Limousine and Chauffeur are focused on chauffeuring services, and the rapid growth of their business will intensify competition in this sector,” adding it will in turn make their rivals accelerate the pace of their innovation. Meng Jing contributed to this story
European aircraft manufacturer Airbus Group SE said it expects to deliver its first A350 to Chinese airlines in the second half of next year and is bullish about the country’s demand for widebody aircraft, fueled by fast-growing longhaul international routes markets.
An A350 test aircraft will start its China tour in November, with the debut in Haikou, Hainan province, then it will take static and flying displays at Zhuhai Airshow, before visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, the company said on Thursday.
Currently, more than 40 A350 aircraft are in operation internationally. China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 A350-900 aircraft in April. Air China ordered 10 A350-900s earlier. In September, Sichuan Airlines signed a letter of intent for leasing four A350-900s.
China’s long-haul market has been surging as the number of direct international flights to and from China skyrocketed 150 percent in the last five years, mainly fueled by the growth of the middle class and relaxed visa policies.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of Chinese who traveled abroad jumped by an annual average of 16 percent, and 200 million individual Chinese are expected to travel overseas by 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In the first half of 2016, Chinese airlines transported 25.2 million people on international routes, jumping 27 percent year-on-year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China
“China’s booming growth of international flights, especially those long-haul routes, requires wide body aircraft to execute the flying. A350is suitable for those airlines with complete international flights networks,” said Eric Chen, Airbus China President and CEO.
Airbus said it expected that between 2014 and 2034, the air traffic in China will have an annual growth rate of 6.9 percent, mainly from air flow of domestic flights in China, and flights between China and the US, and China and Western Europe. Globally, the average growth rate will reach 4.6 percent.
Boeing Co said last month that it expects China’s widebody fleet to triple in size over the next two decades.
“There is a rapid growth of international travel volume in China, with the traffic of some routes increased exponentially. The trend will continue, and the high amount of international travel is likely to drive
Visitors walk past an Airbus A350 on display at the Singapore Airshow.
Eric Chen, Airbus China President