Didi CEO Cheng Wei and Grab CEO Anthony Tan gathered on Thursday at the Global Mobile Internet Conference Beijing 2016 (GMIC) to share their views on the ride-sharing market. They said their companies will redefine mobility by collaborating with local ride-sharing platforms around the world.
“Ten years ago, you could only hail a taxi by the side of the road,” said Cheng. “Now, you can do that with a mobile app, and choices other than taxis, like express cars and hitch services, are all on offer.”
Tan agreed that taxis alone no longer meet transportation demands in the current era. Besides not being efficient enough, traffic jams in major cities around the world make even express cars insufficient. This is why Grab offers on-demand motorcycle service for transportation in cities like Manila.
Both Cheng and Tan agree that the sharing economy around transport is best understood at a local level. They said collaborative localized partnerships can beat out international giants like Uber.
“Internationally, the ride-sharing market calls for collaboration between local service providers around the world,” said Cheng. “Local companies know local people best. With support from local governments, they have a greater chance to gain popularity. What Didi seeks to achieve is not to beat competitors in other places, but to collaborate with them, sharing technology and experience.”
Cheng said that while Didi put an emphasis on expansion over the past three years, it will now focus on becoming a leading technology company in the field for the following three. It is planning to redefine the transport experience with capabilities like being able to predict demand and the ability to dispatch vehicles prior to orders even being made.
Didi achieved 1.43 billion orders in 2015, and is now the world’s largest one-stop ride-share platform. Grab is No.1 in Southeast Asia with services covering 30 cities in six countries in the region. The two companies, together with Ola from India and Lyft from the United States, have a partnership to bring a global ride-sharing ecosystem to the world. The four companies together make ride-sharing services available to half of world’s population.
AllChinaTech has a media partnership with GMIC. AllChinaTech is a startup media platform dedicated to providing timely news and analysis on the Chinese tech industry in English.