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Ride-hailing giant Didi adds group-buying feature to its flagship app

Written by Wency Chen Published on 

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Didi’s social group-buying service was initially launched as a standalone WeChat mini-program in June.

Didi Chuxing, the “Uber of China,” has introduced a new feature on its ride-hailing app, allowing users to order groceries and fresh produce through the tab “Chengxin Youxuan,” local media outlet Jiemian reported. The social group-buying service, which comes on top of bike-sharing, financial services, navigation, car, and on-demand truck rental, and sale, Didi is slowly turning into a super app.

Chengxin Youxuan, which means “orange heart selected” in Mandarin, has already been integrated into the main app in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, according to the report. It is Didi’s latest move in e-commerce, an arena that seems with no direct connection to its core mobility business.

The project was initially launched as a standalone WeChat mini-program in June. Consumers can place orders online and chose to pick up goods at a spot near their homes or get it delivered directly.

Didi claimed that by the end of September, the service was available in more than seven provinces and cities, including Sichuan, Chongqing, Shandong, and Yunnan and the total volume of orders per day reached 2.8 million. “Didi hasn’t set an investment cap in Chengxin Youxuan, it’s trying its best to become number one in the market,” said CEO Cheng Wei at an internal meeting on November 3.

The community group-buying sector in China has become crowded due to mounting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the players are Alibaba-backed Nice Tuan, Tencent-backed Xingsheng Youxuan, and Meituan Youxuan, as well as Pinduoduo’s Duoduo Maicai.

Didi is the biggest ride-hailing platform in China with a total of 550 million users at the end of June. The firm is reportedly in talks with investment banks to file for a multibillion-dollar IPO in Hong Kong in the first half of 2021 at a valuation of USD 60 billion.

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