Ctrip has announced that its car unit has officially obtained its online car-hailing operating license in Tianjin province. This gives Ctrip the right to offer online car-booking services nationwide.
Ctrip has started to build its platform since early 2015 by roping in online ride-hailing brands across China. After three years of collecting feedback from users and accumulating operational experience on the platform, Ctrip is ready to run its own car-sharing services independently.
Ctrip Car aims to offer high-quality commuting between transportation hubs, hotels and tourist attractions. Cashing in on Ctrip’s business travel capabilities, Ctrip Car service will target business travelers. Currently, Ctrip claims a sizeable share in airport transfer service.
As it expands globally, its overseas services will cover not only destination islands that lack convenient public transportation facilities, as it has done in the past. Instead, it will extend its service from airport transfer to commuting locally, serving both local residents and Chinese outbound tourists.
Ctrip is currently mulling to cooperate with Uber, an insider of Ctrip revealed.
Official data showed that the number of online car-hailing users in China had reached 225 million in 2017. However, only 100,000 drivers have been licensed to operate online car-hailing services, indicating a large gap between the supply and demand in the market.