China Rideshare Didi Plans to Expand Into Carsharing | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

China Rideshare Didi Plans to Expand Into Carsharing

Courtesy of Didi Chuxin

Didi Chuxing, China’s ridesharing behemoth, plans to expand into other mobility services including car-sharing, Cheng Wei, the founder and chief executive, said at China’s annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen last week.

The Beijing-based company intends to enter the car-share market with an initial investment of at least $151 million, Wei said, adding that users will be able to conveniently lease a car with a smartphone app, just as they do when they hail a ride, according to a published report.

This move to add car-sharing to the mobility platform would allow Didi to expand its incipient car-rental business — which it operates partially in partnership with Avis Budget Group. In particular, Didi is interested in developing its car-sharing while the company expands its new-energy-vehicle (NEV) fleet.

There are two million electric vehicles on the road, and Didi operates 260,000 of those EVs, which makes Didi the world’s largest EV fleet operator, according to the company. Last month, Wei said the number will rise to one million by 2020.

Didi, which started out as a taxi-hailing app in China, has since expanded into private car-hailing, chauffeur services, car rentals, and even bus services in certain Chinese cities. Car-sharing will still face a lot of challenges in China, Wei said.

“Currently, there remain a lot of challenges in this market, such as car parking and the delayed ride after placing an order,” he said.

Didi acquired Uber’s China services a year ago, after its rival lost approximately $2 billion trying to compete. Since the acquisition, Didi has secured dominance in the Chinese market and is now the largest ride-sharing company in China with more than 450 million users and 21 million drivers are on Didi’s platform, according to the company.

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