A newly launched taxi app backed by China's Taxicab Association will challenge private ride-hailing service such as Didi Chuxing in the Chinese taxi market, which came a month after China’s transport ministry summoned 11 private ride-hailing firms asking them to rectify non-compliant behavior.
Jointly developed by China Taxicab and Livery Association and Alibaba’s digital map service provider AutoNavi, the new ride-hailing service app called “Beijing Taxi”.
The service is being launched after four months of development, with the first batch of more than 100 of the city’s small and medium-size taxi companies partnering and joining in the service.
The new app can be accessed through AutoNavi’s app, Tencent’s super messaging app WeChat and Alibaba’s digital payment app Alipay.
Before the jointly development of “Beijing Taxi”, AutoNavi has already offered ride-hailing services through partnering with some taxi companies in Beijing, including Beiqi Taxi Group and Beijing Yuyang United Taxi Group.
The app will post a challenge to private-run ride hailing service such as Didi, which is being investigated for cybersecurity issues after the cancellation of its high-profile U.S listing in June.
Didi, whose app was removed from the country’s app store, is facing significant challenges not only from government-backed taxi app but also other peers.
Hangzhou-based Cao Cao Mobility, backed by carmaker Geely, raised CNY3.8 billion in early September in its latest round of financing, the largest amount raised by a ride-hailing business since last year.
In early September, China’s Ministry of Transport, along with with a number of other regulators including the Cyberspace Administration of China and State Administration of Market Supervision, summoned 11 ride-hailing firms asking them to draft detailed timetables for achieving full compliance.
Chinese regulators alleged that these private-run services are recruiting unapproved drivers and vehicles.