There is a famous quote by playwright George Bernard Shaw that says “the love of economy is the root of all virtue”. If you need to hail a car in China for a cheap price, you would love to hear the advice of some Chinese netizens here.
There are a number of car-hailing firms in China including Didi, Uber China and Yidao. They all charge the passengers according to the travel distance and time, and offer different systems of discounts. And that’s where things go mathematic.
Weibo user “Marui MerMer” compared the cost of Didi and Uber. She saw the travel distance as “a” and the travel time as “b”, and factored in the cashback discount. The travel time of a certain distance for both brands is seen as the same, and she concluded that an Uber costs less when the distance is under 12.5km, but more when above. Her workings went viral in Chinese cyberspace.
Some other netizens then added a third player, Yidao, into the competition. They used a similar calculation and came up with a more detailed result: Uber costs least when the travel distance is under 9km; Didi is the best choice between 9km to 16km, and Yidao is the most economical at a distance above 16km.
The unit prices for travel distance and time, and the cashback discount, are all subject to the decisions of the car-hailing companies in China; these factors are all influenced by the red-hot competition in the Chinese market for ride sharing.
German strategy consulting firm Roland Berger released a report on the Chinese car-hailing market in March. It said that the Chinese market size was RMB 7.7 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in 2015, and it will reach RMB 500 billion in 2020.
According to a report by data and research firm Analysys International, Didi’s share in the private car-hailing market in Q3 2015 was 83.2%, and Uber China’s was 16.2%.
(Top photo from bbs.dgtle.com)