Chinese Company Didi Launches Car Rental Service
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Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing is stepping into another industry, as officials have announced the company will also begin renting cars both to drivers and to the growing number of domestic and international tourists in the country.
According to the South China Morning Post, Didi will be working with local car rental companies by allowing customers to rent and pay for a vehicle by using the Didi app, which will then be dropped off at a requested location by an employee.
The addition of rental cars fortifies Didi’s asset-free strategy. Instead of owning a fleet of cars, the ride-hailing service company now acts as the middle man between customers and car rental companies.
While Didi hopes to have the new rental car service up and running throughout China soon, it’s currently testing the service in Shanghai. The company hopes to expand into other major cities in the country by the first half of 2017.
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In 2015, 58.5 percent of China’s four billion domestic tourist trips—2.34 billion people—used rental cars and the number is expected to climb to 5.8 billion by 2020. With Didi in the process of buying out rival Uber China, the company would have a 90 percent market share.
“Didi Car Rental is launched in response to the boom in China’s short-term and tourist car rental market as the population goes through a lifestyle revolution,” Didi officials said in a statement.
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