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State-owned carmarkers launch ride-sharing startup T3

COLDSKY.CN- China’s three state-owned carmakers have teamed with a luxury lineup of investors to form a new platform named Ling Hang, or T3 in English, in Nanjing City to tap the ride-sharing market with new-energy cars.

Of the total 9.76 billion yuan in startup funding for T3, auto giants FAW, Dongfeng and Changan Auto will each contribute 1.6 billion yuan, while Suning will contribute the biggest single share of 1.7 billion yuan. Alibaba, Tencent and three investment firms together account for another 23.06 percent of the new joint venture with a total investment of 2.25 billion yuan.

China Entrepreneur reported that the main role of Alibaba and Tencent is offering technical solutions for the new service that might be first launched in May in Nanjing. But it remains unclear to how Alibaba, which backs bike-sharing start-up Hellobike, and Tencent, which backs top ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing, will provide support to T3, which has a vision “to be the most trustable mobility service provider.”

Suning, traditionally a retail company that has increasingly diversified its business, made earlier moves into auto retailing and new energy cars in recent years, opening China’s first auto supermarket in Nanjing in July 2017 and becoming one of major investors when electric vehicle brand Byton raised $240 million in August 2017. Suning also signed a strategic agreement with Hozon, another electric car maker, in November 2018.

Suning’s investment is seen as preparation for underdeveloped in-car retail services that allow customers to buy goods and experiences while taking a ride.

Ma Liangxu, an auto analyst with China Merchants Securities Asset Management, said the cooperation will have limited impact on the dominant leader Didi Chuxing because T3 is essentially designed to boost car sales.  Didi Chuxing, although facing occasional outcries for safety sandals, has also expanded its industrial alliance in last year.

Ma also said Alibaba and Tencent will face almost zero risk from the deal with state-owned enterprises.

A statement from Changan Auto said the new company will create an intelligent transportation service based on the state traffic safety and cloud computing platform and will also deepen cooperation with national traffic management departments and local governments.

Here’s a link to my previous experience of using electric car (in Chinese) from hourly car rental platform Qingxiang, one of several mobility service brands of BAIC Group before it was merged into the group’s new ride-sharing arm BAIC Mobility.

 

(Story provided by coldsky.cn and contact its manager at Twitter @ukingsun or WeChat: ukingsun.)

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