Ctrip Poses Latest Challenge to Didi’s Ride-Hailing Dominance
Leading Chinese travel platform Ctrip is entering the ride-hailing sector, as Didi Chuxing’s virtual monopoly on the industry in China increasingly comes under attack.
Ctrip.com International Ltd. has obtained an online ride-hailing license from the transport authority in Tianjin, a northeastern port city outside Beijing, allowing it to operate such services nationwide.
“This license will add to our ground transportation capability for our travel user base,” a company official told Caixin on Tuesday. “It will be one of the products we bring to our customers as a one-stop travel shop.”
The Nasdaq-listed travel giant started its transportation business in 2014, offering airport pickup, car rental and chauffeur services that go beyond its home market.
Its car rental service, for example, is available in more than 2,000 cities in 100-plus countries, boasting nearly 10,000 vehicle models for consumers to choose from, according to its website.
Ctrip’s latest move is expected to impact its existing partnerships with other operators providing similar services on its platform, market watchers said. This includes Uber and Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd., which dominates the Chinese market with an over 90% share.
AutoNavi Holdings Ltd., an Alibaba mapping affiliate also known as Gaode Map, debuted its carpooling business at the end of March. The service has been rolled out in the cities of Chengdu and Wuhan, and will eventually cover the entire nation, Chinese media reported.
Another formidable recent entrant to the sector is on-demand services provider Meituan-Dianping, which debuted an online taxi booking service in Shanghai in March.
Meituan is China’s largest online booking platform. Its offerings span food delivery, hotel bookings and movie tickets. It said in December that it aimed to offer the service in at least seven cities, including Beijing.
Contact reporter Jason Tan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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