Ride Hailing Wars 2.0 in China with Eva Xiao

Ride Hailing Wars 2.0 in China with Eva Xiao
Eva Xiao from Tech in Asia discussed the return of the ride hailing wars as Didi's dominance in China is now challenged by the bike sharing companies Ofo & Mobike and a fellow rival, Meituan-Dianping.

Eva Xiao, China reporter from Tech In Asia joined us in a two part conversation on the most important events that is rocking the China technology landscape. In the second part of our conversation, Eva discussed the return of China’s ride hailing wars and why Didi’s dominance in the ride hailing space is now being challenged not just by the bike sharing startups such as Ofo and Mobike but surprisingly from a fellow second generation technology giant, Meituan-Dianping.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Eva Xiao, China Reporter in Tech In Asia (@evawxiao, LinkedIn, Wechat: evawxiao, Tech in Asia) [0:38]
  • China’s ride hailing wars are back [0:51]
    • Since June 2016 when Uber ceded China to Didi, we thought the ride sharing  space is concluded with one dominant player, why is China’s ride hailing war back in play? [0:59]
      • More growth opportunities in the transportation sector overall. The competition is not simply over ride-hailing – it’s about EVs, car sharing, autonomous vehicles, in-car entertainment
    • Is China’s ride hailing war fueled by the rise of bikesharing startups such as Ofo and Mobike? [3:18]
      • Partly – now that the bike sharing market is consolidated and stabilizing in China, bike sharing startups need to think about the next area for growth
      • Bike sharing has decreased the need for ride-hailing over short distances, such as 1 or 2 kilometers
      • But Mobike is not entering the ride-hailing industry right now (it’s piloting a Zipcar-like service in Guizhou) – this new competition is coming from Meituan-Dianping
    • We all know that Meituan-Dianping is an analogous app to Yelp + Foursquare + Groupon in China, can you introduce the company and explain why they are now involved in the ride hailing wars? [8:39]
      • Meituan was founded in 2010 (was backed by Alibaba), Dazhong Dianping was founded in 2003 (backed by Tencent), the two merged in 2015 to create Meituan-Dianping
      • Food delivery, restaurant booking, travel, errand-running, spas – lifestyle services
      • Ride-hailing brings Meituan-Dianping growth, combining transportation services with lifestyle services also makes sense (GrabFood, Go-Food, UberEats), TMD competition
    • How are Meituan-Dianping threaten Didi on ridesharing and what have they been doing to ignite the ride hailing war in this 2nd iteration? [11:34]
      • Subsidies, low driver commission rates
    • What are the regulatory issues that these ride hailing companies face now in China? [13:46]
      • Restrictions on car licenses, ride-hailing permits
      • Didi also weathered restrictions on car types
    • Where do you see this new ride hailing war go and will we end up with one dominant player in the end? [15:48]
      • Ride-hailing is just a means to an end
      • Meituan-Dianping may form alliances with other tech companies to take on Didi, as it’s the market leader
      • Didi vs. Ofo shows that having the same BAT investor doesn’t necessarily mean no competition
  • Closing
    • Can you recommend a book, podcast, movie or anything that has impact your personal or work life recently? [20:27]
    • How can my audience find you?

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.