ChinaTravelNews has learned that Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-sharing platform in China, has invested in starting an international travel agency based in Beijing.
According to public information from company-data provider Qichacha, Beijing Jucai Dongli Technology Co. , Ltd. (Jucai Tech), an associate company of China’s leading mobile transportation platform Didi Chuxing, has invested RMB50 million (USD7 million) to establish a new company, Beijing Xiaoju International Travel Agency Co., Ltd.
The major stakeholder is Wei Cheng, the legal representative of Beijing Xiaoju Technology Co. , Ltd. (the main body of Didi), who owns 49.19% of the new company’s equity.
Xiaoju International Travel Agency will provide services covering domestic travel, inbound tours, tour information consultancy, tickets sales and others.
In fact, this is not the first time Didi has dipped its toes into tourism.
In 2015, Didi had launched more than 50 tour itineraries in Beijing and Shenzhen after it launched the Didi bus service. Although the passenger load factor of the bus services exceeded 80% at the pilot stage, the tours were canceled in early 2017, according to Jiemian.com.
Later in October 2016, Didi announced a strategic cooperation with Tripadvisor to further integrate smart transportation with tourism. The collaboration was similar to its ride-hailing service arrangements with airlines and hotels.
On July 17, 2018, Booking Holdings and Didi jointly announced they established strategic cooperation relationship, through which Booking invested USD500 million in Didi. This cooperation enabled Booking’s app to provide ride-hailing service for its customers, while Didi users gained access to hotel reservation platforms, such as Booking.com or Agoda.
A month later, Didi was reported to be looking into starting a new hotel business. An informed source said that one third of Didi’s food delivery team members were assigned to research on hotels, and it was confirmed by insiders from Didi later. However, Didi’s spokesperson said the company was devoting efforts into reorganization, and there were no imminent plans to launch new services.
By May 24, 2019, it was reported that Didi had suspended its hotel plans, and the team members working on incubating the Didi hotel project were either reassigned or made redundant.