Asian Ride Hailing Industry Expansion: Grab, Didi Chuxing Spread Business
The ride hailing industry of Asia underwent a huge change when Grab Holdings, headquartered in Singapore, overtook the ride hailing business of Uber in March 2018. Ever since then, other ride hailing companies such as Didi Chuxing Technology and Gojek have struggled hard to deal with the competition.
The Chinese ride hailing firm, Didi Chuxing has announced plans to launch a robo-taxi service in Shanghai “very soon”. At the East Tech West event by CNBC in Guangzhaou, China, the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Didi Chuxing, Tiger Qie said, “We are going to launch a robo-taxi service in Shanghai very soon. The users can just hail self-driving vehicles through the Didi app.”
Qie stated that currently Didi is able to adhere to only 65 percent of user requests when it comes to rides, but the upcoming launch of driverless cars would help bridge the gap between demand and supply. However, the deployment of driverless cars would not mean that there would be no human behind the wheel. As per Tiger, “Autonomous vehicles and human-driven vehicles are going to co-exist.”
On the other hand, Grab has collaborated with rideshare services in Japan and the Middle East, helping users to book rides using the Grab App. As of now, the service, available only for Singaporean and Filipino users, lists the services of other brands as a type of ride in the app, assisting users to pay using the GrabPay eWallet and earn reward points.
Currently, JapanTaxi and Careem are extremely popular in Japan and the Middle East respectively. They cover five Japanese cities and 94 cities across 13 Middle Eastern countries including Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait.
With the new service of Grab, users in Japan and the Middle East will not have to download JapanTaxi and Careem. In a recently held press release, Grab stated that the Grab App will automatically be set to the user’s preferred language and automatically translate messages sent through in-app between drivers and passengers.
The initiative is an extension of the existing relationship between Grab and Splyt, a London-based global mobility marketplace that the former invested in June 2019. As per the deal, Splyt would be integrating its network of mobility partners into the Grab app, so that users can book rides across 336 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia via any of their respective apps.
Grab has also started its service in another Asian country – Pakistan. To begin with, the service will be provided in the following cities: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Abbottabad, Sargodha, Mardhan, Sukkur, Quetta and Bahawalpur.
As per The Straits Times, with ride hailing companies like Grab, Singapore is the second country in the world that has the readiness to adopt vehicles based on the strength of its government, infrastructure and consumer experience.
Even though Didi Chuxing is using new tech measures to improve its services, Grab still carries an upper hand as it partnered with driverless car firm, nuTonomy, to start driverless car service back in 2016!
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