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BY Zhao Runhua / Jun 21, 2019 03:33 PM / Business & Tech

On Time made its debut in Guangzhou earlier this week. Photo: VCG

On Time made its debut in Guangzhou earlier this week. Photo: VCG

Tencent-backed startup ride-hailing startup On Time launched its first rides this week — but customers are complaining its service is far from punctual.

Slow response and a shortage of drivers marred On Time’s two-day test run in Guangzhou this week, according to passengers who commented on the startup’s official Weibo account.

On Time, which is also backed by domestic car maker GAC Motor, apologized for the delays and said it had not deployed its full fleet for the trial rides, which were as cheap as 0.01 yuan ($0.0015) per ride.

On Time said it plans to roll out services in Hong Kong and neighboring mainland cities soon, before moving northwards. While this might help it avoid direct competition with industry giants like Didi, On Time will be fighting with established service providers for a limited labor pool — the startup’s recruitment notice says drivers must be Guangdong province residents and qualified to provide ride-hailing services, but most drivers meeting these requirements are likely to already be working for other companies.

Related: Shanghai Regulators Push Didi to Expel Illegal Drivers After Accident

Contact reporter Zhao Runhua (

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