Didi Chuxing designs vehicles with BAIC

Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-hailing giant, took another step into the car industry yesterday, partnering with Beijing-based carmaker BAIC to jointly design vehicles. The agreement is one of several Didi has recently signed with carmakers that blur the lines between their industry and the internet sharing economy… Didi and BAIC will co-operate in operating fleets of electric vehicles and charging stations. For the first time Didi will help BAIC design vehicles, a sign that it is becoming more interested in car manufacture. Last month, Didi demonstrated a self-driving car for the first time as part of its push to control the inner city taxi industry, emulating ride-hailing giant Uber, which has also invested in self-driving vehicles. Eventually, Didi foresees operating fleets of intelligent self-driving taxis in many urban areas… As well as being the world’s largest car market, China is ripe for new forms of ownership and car usage as groups integrate the sharing model into the auto industry. Didi carries 20 million riders a day, or about 7 billion a year, as it taps into a pressing need for seamless transport in China’s crowded cities. Traffic congestion in Chinese cities is endemic and local governments see car sharing and ride hailing as a way to solve the problems… Meanwhile, the government has been pushing carmakers to produce more electric vehicles to cut pollution and dependence on foreign oil.
Charles Clover