Alibaba’s mapping unit, AutoNavi Holdings Ltd. that is also known as Gaode Map, has launched its own carpooling business, starting in Chengdu and Wuhan city initially with plans to roll out nationally.
In a move that declares war to existing ride-sharing leader Didi Chuxing, AutoNavi’s expansion into the shared mobility space further complicates a sector that was once viewed as “battle completed.” Even though AutoNavi is beginning with carpooling services first, it is reasonable to expect that its real ambition is to expand to the core business of Didi.
Last February, China’s Groupon equivalent Meituan-Dianping rolled out its own ride-sharing service. Meituan has since expanded its service to seven cities in China. Some existing smaller players Shouqi, or 01Zhuanche, Dida Chuxing, and Ucar, continues to expand their services.
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