/Didi and Uber laughing: ride hailing prices in China jumps 20%

Didi and Uber laughing: ride hailing prices in China jumps 20%

Since June, China’s largest ride-hailing service provider Didi Chuxing has been quietly increasing its price in several cities, Chinese media reported.

In late July, regulators solidified the legal status of ride-hailing in China, before Didi announced its acquisition of its biggest rival, Uber China. Although Didi said that subsidies will not stop, its users must now spend 20% more that before for a same ride.

Taking Beijing as an example, Didi’s price before this June was RMB 1.5 (USD 0.23) per kilometer and RMB 0.3 per minute; the price has risen to RMB 1.8 per kilometer and RMB 0.5 per minute, with a minimum spending per ride of RMB 8.

According to Sina Tech, several other cities also saw a price increase of 20% to 30%. In addition to regular rides, it costs a couple of times more during rush hours or under bad weather.

Drivers complain too. At first, a driver received an RMB 50 subsidy for completing every 10 rides in a day; now they have to complete 26 orders for any possible subsidy.

From another perspective, the ride-hailing market in China is very likely to have been distorted due to the cash-burning battle between service providers: Uber and Didi burned USD one billion (RMB 6.7 billion) and RMB 10 billion respectively in 2015 alone.

When users hail a car not simply because it is cheap but out of real needs, the ride-hailing market may expect a more healthy form of growth.

(Top photo from Pixabay.com)

Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.