China State Ride-Hailing and Flight Platform Set to Launch

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China’s Ministry of Transport and a platform named Xuexi Qiangguo have jointly established a state-owned transportation platform called Qiangguo Jiaotong, which will include ride-hailing and flight services. Beijing Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, announced that the platform will consolidate dozens of ride-hailing companies and is expected to gain more than 90% of the ride-hailing market. Qiangguo Jiaotong has completed its internal testing and will launch its ride-hailing service for the public soon.

State-owned platform to address security problems

Qiangguo Jiaotong was established to address “disorderly expansion and data security problems” in the ride-hailing industry, according to Beijing Daily. It will first provide ride-hailing services to existing Xuexi Qiangguo users, and eventually, it is expected to offer customized travel services to employees of key state-owned enterprises and institutions. According to Beijing Daily, it will be called “Transportation of a Strong Nation”. It will integrate 90% of the entire transportation market, from car, cab aggregators to rail, ferry and air transport. The platform will be connected to WeChat, Alipay, and Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese version. It is not yet clear whether the platform will introduce its own ride-hailing services or only consolidate private apps.

Crackdown on “misbehavior”

China’s top cyber watchdog has launched a month-long campaign to crack down on “misbehavior” during the Lunar New Year. The campaign targets posts that show displays of wealth, people upset over factories being closed down, excessive celebrity gossip, and the “dark side of society.” The move comes as China appears to be exerting greater influence over the booming private sector with cutting-edge technologies. The Chinese government is considering taking “golden shares” in Tencent and Alibaba, according to the Financial Times.

The announcement follows the recent approval of ride-hailer Didi Global to register new users for its app after an 18-month freeze. However, as of Wednesday evening, its main app, Didi Chuxing, was still not available for download in app stores. Didi has seen its domestic market share drop from 90% to below 70% over the past 18 months as customers trickle away to rivals. The company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021 and was slapped with an 8 billion yuan ($1.18 billion) fine for breaking data security and personal information protection laws.