Chinese ridesharing company Didi Chuxing is diversifying its business amid massive regulatory changes in China that make it harder for riders to work for the company, according to TechCrunch.
The company is launching an online financial system targeted toward car leasing and fleet management outfits. The new service will try to make Didi’s partners lives easier by providing them with risk-control tools built from the heaps of driver data the company has on its workers.
“The ability to monitor a ride-hailing vehicle’s operation, performance and maintenance in real-time is a tremendous asset for drivers and fleet managers, enabling them to better and more efficiently identify risks and implement place timely improvements,” said Xiaoyu Liu, head of Didi’s financial services operations in China.
A ride-hailing company like Didi is essentially just a way to connect drivers to passengers, but as Beijing continues to regulate ridesharing, it’s pushing Didi more and more into the realm of what a taxi company has to deal with, by setting certain rules and restrictions.
The biggest change the company’s dealt with is the requirement for government-issued licenses for both cars and drivers. The licenses require background checks, exams and the vehicles have to be fully insured and registered as commercial cars. They also have to be removed from service after eight years, just like taxis.
To counter the new regulation and deal with a steep decline in drivers, Didi has been outsourcing those requirements to third-party companies, mostly car-leasing firms. It has also partnered with driver management firms that recruit and train people to work on ride-hailing apps. That way, Didi won’t have to pay for a lot of the overhead that a traditional taxi company would. It also gets a huge pool of drivers for its service.
The new financial service plans to serve 1,500 of Didi’s leasing partners by the end of the year.