Online car-hailing has become a "sweet cake" again. You can’t "change your face" if you have a market.

  Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai, April 4 Question: Online car-hailing has become a "sweet cake" again. You can’t "change your face" if you have a market.

  Xinhua News Agency "China Network" reporters Jia Yuankun and Wang Chenyang

  You haven’t finished singing, the other side has already appeared. Just as Didi and Meituan were in the middle of a fierce battle for online car-hailing, Ctrip announced its entry into the online car-hailing market and claimed to have obtained an online car-hailing operation license. The addition of this platform with user resources such as travel, tourism, and hotels will undoubtedly push the competition for online car-hailing platforms to another climax.

  How did the online car-hailing market attract the influx of various platforms?

  Three new ones were added in January, and online car-hailing was a bit lively

  On March 21, Meituan’s taxi business began to land in Shanghai. At present, Meituan Taxi claims that its daily order volume in Shanghai has exceeded 300,000 orders. As of 24:00 on March 27, Meituan Taxi has served more than 2.20 million passengers in Shanghai. 7 days on the line, the cumulative increase in taxi orders reached 146%.

  Then, Autonavi Maps announced the launch of the ride-hailing service on March 27, which has been launched in Chengdu and Wuhan first. At the same time, it has opened the recruitment of car owners in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and other cities, and then gradually expanded to more cities across the country.

  If Meituan, which specializes in food delivery, and Autonavi, which sells navigation as a selling point, operate online car-hailing as a "cross-border", then Ctrip, which has travel, tourism and hotel businesses, has good reasons to enter the online car-hailing business.

  The major platforms have taken up the banner to demonstrate their market advantage, but the means of competition are the same, and bidding competition is still the first choice.

  Meituan gave the passengers a big coupon for taking a taxi, and gave the driver a "double prize", a "combo prize" and a "guarantee prize". The benefits are very haughty.

  Meituan Taxi has previously obtained the "Online Booking Taxi Business License" in Shanghai. In the eyes of many consumers, the competition of Meituan Ctrip has also sounded the alarm bell for the industry. After the last round of competition for online ride-hailing platforms, Didi Chuxing was the dominant one, but the service quality has declined, and the price advantage is no longer there. A series of problems such as frequent fare increases, refusal to load, and bad driver attitudes have received complaints from passengers.

  On April 3, in response to the recent frequent occurrence of illegal passenger transportation in the online car-hailing market, the Shanghai Municipal Traffic Law Enforcement Department conducted a special project rectification operation codenamed "Tianwang No. 2" to investigate and punish 37 cases of illegal passenger transportation using the online car-hailing platform, including 29 cases of Didi Chuxing, 6 cases of Meituan taxi, 1 case of Shenzhou special car, and 1 case of TikTok Chuxing.

  With the market, "face" will change. The online car-hailing platform that has occupied the market advantage is not only difficult to find "discounts", but also does not increase prices and does not accept orders. It is even worse on holidays, rainy and snowy days. The online car-hailing platform that claims to solve the problem of difficult and expensive taxis not only fails to provide quality services for passengers, but also "adds congestion" to the city. Many netizens report that the online car-hailing platform has turned the online car-hailing market into a seller’s market. Passengers treat drivers carefully, but drivers treat passengers as they please. This situation has long deviated from the original intention of the so-called innovative services of the online car-hailing platform.

  You demolish the east wall, I make up the west wall, is it innovation or ambition?

  Online car-hailing has become a "sweet cake", attracting an influx of platforms, which is just a small microcosm of the competition among Internet platforms in recent years.

  Whether it is "takeaway + travel", "map + travel" or "travel + travel", each platform hopes to build itself into a behemoth of "one network to eat", so as to occupy a market share advantage in various fields where ordinary people eat, drink and play. Therefore, the phenomenon of Didi entering the takeaway market and Meituan entering the online car-hailing market came into being.

  Meituan taxi exclusive response to Xinhua News Agency reporter said that Uber did UberEATS and Didi also invested in, which first triggered its idea of doing a taxi platform, and prompted them to eventually get involved in online car-hailing, in order to meet the travel needs of users on Meituan and Dianping’s original platform.

  There is a market demand, and in the end it depends on which platform wins the target user. And the service content of each platform is almost the same, so it is reasonable to play the price card.

  In fact, Meituan’s taxi launch also came from the pressure of platform competition. With’s acquisition of Baidu takeaway and Ali’s acquisition of, Alibaba, which owns multiple platforms such as Alipay, Taobao, Taopiao, and Flying Pig Travel, has joined the takeaway sector, which has undoubtedly brought competition.

  Just as Meituan chose to "expand", Ctrip also faces competition from Flying Pig and Dianping in areas such as travel and hotels.

  Experts believe that the Internet platform, which originally relied on innovation as its foundation, should not only be keen on "horse racing" and homogeneous competition.

  How can the online car-hailing market thrive?

  The battle of online ride-hailing platforms has been lively, with passengers finding benefits and drivers earning subsidies. All parties have different evaluations of platform competition. And creating a healthy and orderly market environment still depends on effective management and supervision.

  Mr. Sun, who was on a business trip to Shanghai recently, found that Meituan had launched a big discount to attract passengers. He once spent only 3 yuan on an online ride-hailing. "From the consumer’s perspective, I hope these platforms will compete more and bring me benefits," Mr. Sun said. "I don’t hope that once a certain platform masters the absolute market advantage, there will be holidays, rainy and snowy days, drivers charging sky-high prices, refusing customers and slaughtering customers."

  Mr. Sang, the driver of the express train, said: "Meituan currently charges 0.5 yuan per order for information. In addition to the information fee, Didi Chuxing also charges about 20% to 50% of the fare. However, Didi Chuxing also relied on a large number of subsidies to attract drivers at the beginning. If the platform increases the subsidy, there will be no more."

  Since the beginning of this year, in response to the violation of relevant management regulations by online car-hailing platforms, relevant departments in Nanjing, Shanghai, Anqing and other places have interviewed online car-hailing platforms, and relevant companies have also expressed their willingness to actively rectify, abide by relevant regulations, and maintain market order. However, in actual law enforcement management, there are still many difficulties.

  In the reporter’s interview, local traffic management departments generally reported that the biggest problem in the supervision of online car-hailing platforms is the lack of data access. No data, messy data, and fake data lead to supervision without solid evidence, making it difficult to hold accountable.

  At the same time, online car-hailing is a product of the Internet era, which needs to be supervised not only by the departments of transportation, public security, industry and commerce, and quality inspection, but also by the departments of communication and cyber security. The single means of current law enforcement leads to supervision that "addresses only the symptoms but not the root cause of the issue." The implementation of relevant supervision and management of online car-hailing requires the formation of joint efforts of all departments.

  In addition, the supervision and punishment of online car-hailing need laws and regulations. At present, our country has no relevant laws and regulations for online taxi-hailing. At the same time, as a new business model, online car-hailing platforms also need targeted laws and regulations.