(Yicai Global) March 27 -- China’s leading digital map and navigation service provider Autonavi Holdings Ltd., also known as Amap, unveiled its ride-sharing service today in a sign of increasing interest by major firms in China’s multibillion dollar car-hailing market.
Amap will first introduce its service in the cities of Chengdu and Wuhan, the Beijing-based company said in a press briefing today. It is also recruiting car owners in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou to expand its service to other parts of China, news portal Sohu reported.
As a new entrant, Amap will have to up against the big market players such as Didi Chuxing, run by Beijing Xiaoju Technology Co. Didi secured a market share of over 90 percent after acquiring Uber Technologies Inc.’s China business in 2016. Beijing Sankuai Online Technology Co.’ online food delivery giant Meituan also recently announced its entry into the ride-hailing market to compete with Didi Chuxing.
Unlike other online car-hailing platforms that collect up to 10 percent of fares as commission, Amap’s service will neither collect commission nor offer substantial subsidies. Instead, it will leverage technologies to improve transport efficiency and ease traffic jams in cities, said President Liu Zhenfei.
About 16 percent of private car rides in Beijing overlap, Liu said, citing a report released by Amap. If China can fully develop an effective ride-sharing service, 111 million kilometers of mileage can be cut each year, which is equivalent to 30,000 tons of carbon emissions, he added.
Amap is China’s largest navigation service provider, has 700 million users and has gathered together the largest number of private car users in the country, providing an average of 340 million navigation services a day for users, Liu said, giving the company a natural advantage in developing its new ride-sharing service.