Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on Wednesday issued the first carpooling license in the country, granting it to peer-to-peer carpooling startup Dida Pinche.

Dida Pinche’s latest progress poses challenges to Didi Chuxing, which established dominance in the ride hailing market in China after its acquisition of Uber China in August last year. So far, there are nearly 300 million Didi users across more than 400 Chinese cities, according to the company.

How is Dida Pinche different to Didi Chuxing in ride price? Passengers on Dida pay the trip depending on distance, and do not have to spend more money if they encounter a traffic jam during the trip. They also do not have to pay more during rush hours or if the cars are fancier and more expensive.

The charging system to some extent stops drivers from making a living by serving as a driver on the platform. Major users on Dida are car owners who drive on a part-time basis and passengers who use it to commute.

So far, in addition to commute carpooling, Dida Pinche the app offers a few services relating to city transportation, including inter-city carpooling, trips outside of the city, and speed delivery services.

Ever since it was founded in 2014, Dida Pinche has attracted 60 million users. As of the end of 2016, it has covered 349 cities and seen more than 400 million trips, whose distance altogether adds up to 4.78 billion kilometers.

In May 2015, Beijing-based Dida Pinche raised USD 100 million in Series C funding, led by China Renaissance Capital Investments (CRCI). TrustBridge Partners, IDG Capital Partners and the US-listed automotive website Bitauto also took part.

(Top photo from Didapinche.com)

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Heather Wang
Heather is a contributor at ACT. She is passionate about literature, photography and technology. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics with a Master's Degree.

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