BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s biggest ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing will allow users of its smartphone app to access services provided by apps of three domestic auto firms and others, in a push to generate more orders.
Passengers can order ride-hailing services from FAW, Dongfeng and GAC from Didi’s app, which has 550 million registered users in China.
The move accelerates a trend in China where automakers are launching their own ride-hailing services, while ride-hailers such as Didi are teaming up with automakers to ultimately develop purpose-built cars for their services.
FAW, Dongfeng and Chongqing Changan Automobile (000625.SZ) set up a $1.5 billion Chinese ride-hailing venture with Alibaba (BABA.N), Tencent (0700.HK) and retailer Suning (002024.SZ) earlier this year.
Didi will leverage its strength in artificial intelligence, operational expertise and marketplace strategies to help partners build capacities for connected vehicle operations, the statement said.
China is home to the world’s largest ride-hailing market, estimated by consulting firm Bain & Co to be worth more than $20 billion in 2016. Didi Chuxing accounted for about 90 percent of all bookings.
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman