Meituan-Dianpin, an online-to-offline service provider best known for food deliveries, used to only offer ride-hailing services to passengers in Shanghai and Nanjing. It has now expanded this ride-hailing service to other 15 cities, reported 36Kr Sunday.
These cities include Guangzhou and Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong province, Zhengzhou in Central China’s Henan province, and Xi’an in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
It’s a bold move considering that China already has a big ride-hailing player, Didi and that major firms like Alibaba are also pushing into this area. Meituan’s quick expansion was made possible by integrating several smaller ride-hailing services, namely Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur, Caocao, and UCar into its app.
Shouqi offers rides mainly in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, while Caocao and UCar cover 25 and 50 cities across China, respectively, according to information on the companies’ websites.
One click on Meituan allows a ride-hailing request to be sent to all these providers at the same time.
In addition, each restaurant on Meituan’s app has also added a tag allowing its diners to hail a ride directly to the venue.
The company told 36Kr that other merchants on its app including hotel operators will add a similar feature in the future.
Meituan said that the company’s focus now is to improve users experience around ride-hailing by leveraging on new technologies, rather than massive subsidies.
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Editor: Nadine Freischlad