Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing (DiDi), which absorbed Uber after a ferocious pricing battle, has signed partnership deals with 12 auto companies to provide marketing support for their car-sharing services and electric vehicles, the Financial Times reports.
The deals are mainly with major Chinese automakers such as Geely, Changan and BYD but also include foreign companies like Kia and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which owns Mitsubishi.
The move by Didi, which provides an estimated 7 billion rides per year, is a sign of the increasing converging of interests between the auto industry and technology companies, according to the FT. Car companies in China are in need of help marketing the vast number of electric vehicles they are planning to build to comply with strict Chinese government regulations.
DiDi Chuxing General Manager for the Express Mobility Group Chen Ting said, “Strategic partnerships with the world’s leading industry players like Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi will enable us to pool our strengths and resources to meet diversified mobility demands and create an open, sharing-based transportation ecosystem, as we innovate vehicles for a future of ridesharing, AI technology and new energy.”
The partnership comes as DiDi launched (07-Feb-2018) its car-sharing platform to build an open new energy car-sharing system for the future. App-based on-demand car-sharing is increasingly an important complement to car ownership. According to a study by Global Market Insights, the global car-sharing market is expected to grow 34% annually from 2017 to 2024, while the annual growth rate in China will exceed 40%.
Chinese research company, Analysys projected car sharing will generate around RMB7 billion (USD1 billion) by 2020.
DiDi hopes to leverage on its AI strengths and national network to empower the entire automotive industry chain. Under the partnership, DiDi will open its platform to automakers’ own sharing services. The platform will introduce to individuals and corporate partners not only diversified models from automakers, but also auto-related finance and insurance services.
In addition to automakers, DiDi will also work closely with other car-sharing services, rental companies, infrastructure operators and after-sales service providers. DiDi believes the new program will reduce cost and enhance efficiency for the entire industry chain by integrating resources from cars, capital, parking spaces, charging points and refueling stations, to auto-maintenance and repair services in a new, open ecosystem of collaboration.